BROOKLYN — goTenna, a company that allows your smartphone to communicate even without cell service, has raised $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.
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 research and development grants from Google and the U.S. Department of Defense.
First conceived 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 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 the new funding, 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.
“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.