Sweden’s Instabridge, the Wi-Fi sharing community and mobile app that has proved particularly popular in Brazil and Mexico, has scored $3 million in further funding — money it’s pegged for Asia expansion, starting with India.
The new round is led by Luminar Ventures (headed up by Magnus Bergman and Jacob Key), with participation from previous backers Balderton Capital, Draper Associates, Moor, and Creandum. The company had previously raised around $5 million.
Originally founded in late 2012 as a way to enable you to share your home Wi-Fi with friends on Facebook, the Stockholm-based company has since pivoted to become a broader Wi-Fi sharing community, and has found traction in developing markets where cellular data remains prohibitively expensive.
The Instabridge app lets you share the details of any Wi-Fi hotspot with other Instabridge users, and provides access to Wi-Fi hotspots shared by everyone else in the community. This has enabled it to build a crowdsourced database of Wi-Fi hotspots, in addition to a list of known public venues that have free Wi-Fi, such as McDonald’s or Starbucks.
Instabridge says it plans to build on the traction it has seen in South America by targeting India’s population of over 1 billion people, of which it says only 400 million currently have internet access. This, Instabridge co-founder Niklas Agevik tells me, will include building out a team in India, and plays into the company’s new-found mission of expanding internet access in developing countries where internet services remain relatively expensive and yet access to the internet is a proven means of “reducing income inequality”.
Meanwhile, I’m told that Instabridge is now seeing 2.3 million Monthly Active Users, and is growing at a rate of 50,000 new users per day. The Instabridge database now houses the details of 2 million Wi-Fi spots.
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