FreedomPop announced that it secured an additional $10 million in funding, as well as a new strategic partner, Axiata. This will help FreedomPop expand further as it pushes its services into southeast Asia.
Axiata is the largest carrier in southeast Asia. The company has over 230 million customers across Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Cambodia and Sri Lanka. Not only has Axiata invested a couple of million dollars in FreedomPop, but the company has also gained access to Axiata's vast network.
"Axiata's investment comes with a major commercial partnership that will help take FreedomPop to a whole new level globally, not only by extending our reach, but by expanding how we work with carriers around the world," said Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop founder and CEO. "FreedomPop's unique capability to drive low ARPU and margins with a freemium model, coupled with a progressive and ambitious global carrier like Axiata Group, lays the foundation for broader global disruption."
Despite the new partnership with Axiata, FreedomPop will gain somewhat limited access to Axiata's network. FreedomPop may not be allowed to operate in all of the nations in which Axiata's network currently exists, and in any case it will be limited to areas where Axiata currently doesn't have a strong market presence. As a result, few, if any, customers who currently have access to Axiata's service will be able to get FreedomPop.
Just as in the U.S., FreedomPop will offer users 500 MB of data on a broadband level service, 200 minutes of talk time, and 500 text messages each month.
Many of you might be wondering how FreedomPop will profit from this business model, especially as the company has been growing so rapidly lately. A company representative explained to me that FreedomPop doesn't make any money from approximately half of its customers. Its income comes from the other half of its users, who opt to purchase additional services that range from additional data or calling time to international calling and online security services.
Although FreedomPop won't be able to operate in many areas of Axiata's network, it is undeniable that there is potential for extreme growth, depending on which areas Axiata allows FreedomPop to operate. India alone could represent exponential growth for FreedomPop, as it is currently the second largest nation by population, and is expected to pass China on that front in the near future.
We will have to see what fruits this deal will bare.