Wireless ISP Raises $7M ‘A’ Round

Common Networks, a young wireless broadband ISP, has raised a $7 million series A round led by Eclipse Ventures and Lux Capital, which were also part of the startup’s $2.3 million seed round.

The company is expanding its stack of cash as it continues to push ahead on its first deployment, in Alameda, Calif., where it offers a cap-free and contract-free broadband service for $50 per month.

Common Networks, which tangles with Comcast in the market, delivers service on a point-to-point wireless network using 5GHz spectrum in tandem with a proprietary software-based that uses commodity gear and aims to keep costs down.

Common Networks doesn’t charge for its required home-side equipment, but the service relies on a roof-mounted mast with up to four small antennas. Common Networks also supplies an WiFi access point, a Unifi Pro made by Ubiquity Networks, but customers also have the option to use their own.

Per its FAQ, Common Networks between 50 Mbps to 100 Mbps, but the average customer typically gets more than 125 Mbps upstream and down, with even faster speeds on the roadmap,  company CEO Zach Brock said, adding that he founded Common Networks under the belief that there’s an opportunity to innovate in the ISP sector and “rethink” the relationship between the customer and the broadband service provider.

Common Networks won’t say how many subs it has, but it’s been doubling that total every couple of months since launching in Alameda last year, Brock said.

While the first year was focused on R&D, the current goal is to ramp up in Alameda and to start the pursuit of its second and third markets, he added, noting that research is underway on where else its model and approach will work best in other parts of the U.S.

“We won’t only be in the Bay Area for much longer,” Brock said.

Common Networks was founded in January 2016 and currently has 11 employees, including several that hailed from Square, mobile payment company led by Twitter co-founder and CEO Jack Dorsey.