FreedomPop, the U.S. wireless carrier startup that has been building a business based on completely free voice and data services, has raised another $10 million in funding from two strategic investors, the pan-Asian mobile carrier Axiata and an unnamed tech investor based in the U.S., the company is announcing today. The deal with Axiata will mean that FreedomPop will be expanding its free services into Asia for the first time.
Axiata is based in Malaysia but also has operations in Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Cambodia and Sri Lanka (under brands like Smart, M1 and Celcom). Notably, FreedomPop points out that it is the largest carrier in Southeast Asia, with 230 million subscribers across its footprint.
Meanwhile, a source close to FreedomPop says that the U.S. tech company investor is a “major tech firm” that will use its commercial partnership with FreedomPop to “take on Google Fi at a device level and Qualcomm at a chip level.” The company is expected to announce its partnership with FreedomPop in the next month or so.
The news comes about a month after FreedomPop announced a $30 million investment, which also had an unnamed strategic tech investor that will be working with the carrier on the hardware side of things. It’s unclear whether the secret investor is one and the same company.