Instabridge, a Wi-Fi sharing platform, has raised $3 million in Series A round of funding led by Shockholm’s Moor and London’s Balderton Capital along with Swisscom and an existing investor, Creandum.
Founded in late 2012, Instabridge is a Swedish startup that creates the world’s largest Wi-Fi sharing community. It allows its users to share details of any Wi-Fi hotspot with other Instabridge users and offers access to Wi-Fi hotspots shared by everyone else in the community. It was initially started to share home Wi-Fi with friends on Facebook and later grew up to a wider sharing community.
“It is fascinating to think how many people we are helping to get online every day. It’s one of the things that make us truly love working at Instabridge. We are thrilled to have Moor and Balderton on board and are excited that they share our long-term vision of becoming the way people get online. Their experience and know-how will be invaluable,” says Niklas Agevik, CEO and co-founder of Instabridge.
The app aims to help people in developing countries with more basic handsets or make it more affordable to go online. It runs constantly at the background that saves battery life and the team is now working on a proprietary algorithm to enable the app to make the right decision about the best spot to connect to. Also, the app comes with pre-loaded list of venues that provide free Wi-Fi like McDonald’s or Starbucks, along with the compass for the direction.
With the new funds, the company plans to expand to emerging markets like Brazil, Mexico and India where access to Wi-Fi is a primary requirement for consumers and plans to spend to building out world-class engineering, products and design teams.
“Our investment strategy is to focus on world leading companies that can transform their industries globally. Instabridge has set out to create the world’s largest crowd sourced network that can truly make a difference through high quality mobile internet access for all,” said Katja Bergman, Partner at MOOR.
”Niklas is an inspirational entrepreneur, who has built a company that solves a real problem. At the moment, connecting to WiFi is a broken and painful experience due to convoluted login procedures and high drop-off rates. This is particularly true in emerging markets, where many users don’t have constant access to high-speed data, and handsets are far more commonly used as WiFi-first devices. Instabridge have built a solution to this problem that enables users to access a crowd-sourced network of free-to-access WiFi spots via a beautiful user-experience. We are very excited to work with them.” said Daniel Waterhouse, General Partner at Balderton Capital.