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FreedomPop Lands $6M More

FreedomPop, a company that provides “free” mobile voice and data services to cost-conscious consumers, said it has landed $6 million in additional  strategic funding that includes a new investor that will help the startup expand into southeast Asia.

The latest infusion comes more than a month after FreedomPop announced a $30 “B” round led by Partech Ventures.  The latest investment includes $6 million of new funding, plus $4 million that was “ring-fenced” in the recent $30 million round. FreedomPop, which has decided to go it alone after declining “multiple M&A offers,” has raised about $58 million.

FreedomPop said a portion of the latest strategic investment came way of Axiata Group, which claims to have more than 230 million users across Malaysia, Indonesia, India, Bangladesh, Singapore, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka.

FreedomPop said it will apply its technology and business model with Axiata’s network, and aim to disrupt the mobile market there via over-the-top and traditional telecom business models.

“Axiata’s investment comes with a major commercial partnership that will help take FreedomPop to a whole new level globally, not only by extending our reach, but by expanding how we work with carriers around the world,” Stephen Stokols, FreedomPop’s  founder and CEO, said in a statement.

FreedomPop said it is in similar partnership talks with other major global carriers.

FreedomPop launched its free phone service about 18 months ago. Last month, it said it was nearing 1 million subs. It’s in the process of rolling out services in the U.K. this summer, followed by other parts of Europe.

FreedomPop is looking to expand as it continues to compete with traditional mobile carriers as well as with Project Fi, a new service from Google that will start at $20 per month and will run on pre-vetted WiFi hot spots and Sprint’s and T-Mobile’s U.S. 4G LTE cellular networks. Cablevision Systems, meanwhile, has launched a WiFi-only service called Freewheel.