FreedomPop, the company trying to promote Web freedom by producing the world's first ever completely free mobile service that will include voice, text and data, has come another $5 million close to achieving that goal.
The company closed a series "A.1" round from DCM Capital and Mangrove Capital that extends its total funding to $16 million. According to FreedomPop CEO Stephen Stokols, the company doesn't really need the extra cash as the company's valuation is now two times what it was when it closed its last round of funding about five months ago. However, he feels the A. 1 round will provide the FreedomPop with a safety net in order to provide added assurance around the phone's launch, which is expected to be some time this summer.
The Freedom Phone service will be a free Android-powered system that will guarantee 500 megabytes of data, unlimited texting and 200 voice minutes per month. FreedomPop users will also be able to call each other for free according to an announcement made by the company in June. So far, more than 100,000 people have signed up for the beta phase of the program after about a week since it was announced.
The new $5 million will take some of the pressure off of the company to persue its earlier plan of a Series B round in the range of $15 million to $20 million, according to MiltiChannel. Stokols doesn't believe FreedomPop will need any more more money or to consider that option at all for at least another 12 to 18 months.
FreedomPop is also reportedly working on data products that can work with Sprint's LTE network. It is likely to start with an LTE hospot within the year according to the company. FreedomPop is committed to bringing wireless Internet service for free to the public. The masthead on its website writes: "The Internet is a right not a privilege."