goTenna, the first and only company to enable completely off-grid, long-range mobile communications on regular smartphones regardless of cell service, wifi, satellites or even base stations, today announced $7.5 million in Series B funding led by Union Square Ventures (USV). The round also includes existing investors Walden Venture Capital, MentorTech Ventures, Bloomberg Beta, BBG Ventures, and Collaborative Fund, and will support goTenna as it continues to scale its decentralized connectivity technology.
This new financing comes just 14 months after the company closed its last round and brings goTenna’s total venture funding to $17 million. In addition, goTenna has been awarded several non-dilutive research and development grants from the likes of Google and the U.S. Department of Defense.
First thought up during Hurricane Sandy in 2012, when up to one-third of all cell towers and power stations were down in the 10-state area affected by the storm, the company formed to create goTenna — the first and only device that enables smartphone users to communicate by text and GPS, even if there’s no cell, internet or satellite service. In-market since late 2015, this award-winning device has been purchased and used by many tens of thousands of people. With users ranging from outdoor enthusiasts and travelers on vacation to wildland firefighters and humanitarian aid workers, goTenna has secured national distribution through retailers like REI and Amazon, and municipal distribution through entities such as the City of New York and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
With Union Square Ventures’ backing, goTenna will expand its product offerings for reliable alternatives to infrastructure-heavy, centralized communications systems for use beyond the initial “no service, no problem” use-case. As more professional organizations use goTenna, the company is powering parallel networks used for everyday communications, and not just when service is unavailable or unreliable. This vision aligns with Union Square Ventures’ “Access 2.0” thesis around investing in competitive and alternative access providers.
“Our vision is to build practical bottom-up communication networks so that people and, eventually, the things around them can create resilient, scalable parallel connectivity anytime, anywhere,” said Daniela Perdomo, co-founder and CEO of goTenna. “Working with USV means partnering with investors who also believe in the massive potential of mesh networks.”
“goTenna’s mission is a great fit with our access investment thesis. We have been impressed by the team’s ability to deliver advanced communications hardware products in a very capital-efficient manner,” said Albert Wenger, managing partner at Union Square Ventures and goTenna’s newest board member. “We’re excited to be supporting the new product launches and expansion into professional markets where there is so much demand.”
In the past six months, goTenna announced two new products powered by the company’s “Aspen Grove” protocol. goTenna Mesh is the first 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network and starts shipping to 49 countries in late spring. The company’s first professional device, goTenna Pro, is the world’s most compact, affordable tactical mesh radio system and ships this fall. Designed for use by public safety, defense, industrial, and enterprise organizations, goTenna Pro comes with a supporting suite of B2B and B2G (business to government) products and services.
To learn more about goTenna and view current job openings, please visit gotenna.com.
Based in Brooklyn, goTenna is the first and only company to enable anyone to use their phones to communicate at long-range even if there’s no cell, internet or satellite service.
The company was founded in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy, when up to one-third of cell towers and power stations were down in a 10-state area. In 2015, goTenna launched its award-winning, flagship device that quickly became synonymous with next-generation off-grid communications. Less than two years later, the company created the first 100% off-grid, mobile, long-range consumer-ready mesh network with goTenna Mesh, a smaller, internationally-available device that allows users to automatically and privately relay messages through other devices to extend range of connectivity. Most recently, the company announced its a suite of professional products anchored by goTenna Pro, intended for public safety, defense, industrial, and enterprise organizations.
goTenna was co-founded by siblings Daniela and J Perdomo whose vision to create resilient, people-powered connectivity was sparked during Hurricane Sandy when up to a third of cell towers and power stations were knocked out. The company is backed by investors such as Union Square Ventures, Walden Venture Capital, MentorTech Ventures, BBG Ventures (a subsidiary of Verizon), Bloomberg Beta, and Collaborative Fund.
For more information visit gotenna.com.
About Union Square Ventures:
Union Square Ventures (USV) is a small collegial partnership that manages over $1B across seven funds. USV portfolio companies create services that have the potential to fundamentally transform important markets.