As even a short moment without a working Wi-Fi connection feels sometimes like forever, there seems to be a constant need for crowdsourced network such as the one hosted by Swedish Instabridge. The company building the largest Wi-Fi network on the planet doesn’t seem to have problems getting backers from the investor side either since Instabridge announces today closing $3 million Series A funding round.
Instabridge’s app – that acts as a “SIM-card for Wi-Fi” – allows users to seamlessly connect to hotspots that have been shared by other members of the community. So any user, business or individual, that has downloaded the app can connect to a range of wireless networks.
The startup founded in 2013 passed the limit of one million registered users earlier this year – And these million users help the community to connect through over a half a million high quality hotspots.
“It’s 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.”
Currently Instabridge reaches highest growth of user numbers in emerging markets like Brazil and Mexico, where Wi-Fi is a primary requirement for consumers. This is why adjusting the app to work seamlessly with any device is one of the company’s main goal.
Instabridge also continues developing their app’s algorithm so that it would make a real-time decision for the users of which hotspots they should connect to, based on signal strength, speed and when it was last used – with as minimal battery usage as possible.
The necessary backup for mobile data?
As the use of Instabridge is driven by users’ insatiable need for data, quality wireless access, and the high cost of mobile data around the world – the investors of the company such as MOOR and Balderton Capital, believe that the company is solving a significant problem that consumers around the world are facing.
For instance according to Cisco, use of mobile data is expected to grow with over 60% per year, and the share of users hitting their data caps is increasing.
“At the moment, connecting to Wi-Fi 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,” says Daniel Waterhouse, General Partner from Balderton Capital.
“Instabridge has 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,” Waterhouse continues and adds that they’re very excited to work with the company – And so seems to be the community participating in Instabridge’s mission to enable high quality mobile internet access for all.