April 2014

iphone5_setup2LOS ANGELES, CA – April 29, 2014 – FreedomPop, America’s fastest growing mobile service company, today introduced the first free mobile service plans for the Apple iPhone. FreedomPop, which launched the world’s only free mobile phone service late last year on select Android devices, is now adding the popular iPhone 4 and iPhone 5 models to its growing portfolio of smartphone service plans. The company also announced the launch of its new iOS app, FreedomPop Free Voice and Text, which will provide any iOS device user free voice, text and voicemail.

“With iPhones now making up almost 50 percent of the US smartphone market and their users burdened by expensive service plans, supporting iOS is a top priority for us,” said Steven Sesar, COO of FreedomPop. “Adding the iPhone and launching our iOS app allows us to deliver our free service to a market desperate for a break from high-cost plans.”
Since launching its free mobile service plan, FreedomPop has experienced a momentous response, signing up hundreds of thousands of new customers. The company also offers customers the ability to bring their own device, and is continually adding eligible phones to its device portfolio, including the iPhone 4 and 5 models announced today. FreedomPop will sell the iPhone 5 directly through its website for $349. Customers can bring their existing iPhone 4 device and activate on the website upon signing up for service. Both devices are offered the same low-cost, disruptive pricing plans as its other smartphones. The free plan will include 200 voice minutes, 500 text messages and 500 MBs of data per month. Unlimited voice, text and data plans will start at under $5 per month.
With the launch of its new iOS app, FreedomPop allows any iPhone user stuck in an existing contract to save hundreds of dollars per year by downgrading their voice plans and leveraging FreedomPop’s free voice and text service directly from their existing phone. Today, any iPhone, iPad or iPod user can download FreedomPop’s new communication app, which provides free calls, texts and voicemail. Customers also have the option to port their existing number to FreedomPop or select a new one. For the new iOS app, visit our page on the iTunes store (http://fpop.co/ios).
To order the iPhone 5 or activate your current iPhone 4 on FreedomPop and to sign up for service now, go to www.FreedomPop.com/iphone

Here are some of the articles that appeared around the news:

CNN Money
Virtual operator FreedomPop brings its freemium service to the iPhone
April 29, 2014
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/gigaom/articles/2014_04_28_virtual_operator_freedompop_brings_its_freemium_service_to_the_iphone.html 

WFTV – Clark Howard Show
Smartphone and Data Plan Guide for 2014
By Clark Howard
May 1, 2014
http://www.wftv.com/news/business/consumer-advice/smartphone-and-data-plan-guide-2014/nfmzH/

 

re/code
FreedomPop to Sell First Apple Devices, Offering iPhone 5 With Its Free and Low-Cost Plans
By Ina Fried
April 28, 2014
http://recode.net/2014/04/28/freedompop-to-sell-first-apple-devices-offering-iphone-5-with-its-free-and-low-cost-plans/ 

USA Today
FreedomPop goes to China to upend U.S. smartphone market
By John Shinal
April 28, 2014
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/shinal/2014/04/28/freedom-pop-goes-to-china-to-upend-us-smartphone-market/8124559/ 

USA Today
Smartphone refurbishing is going mainstream
By John Shinal
April 28, 2014
http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/columnist/shinal/2014/04/28/ebay-masayoshi-son-brightstar-smartphone-market/8418491/ 

PC Magazine
FreedomPop Adds iPhone to Lineup
By Chloe Albenesius
April 29, 2014
http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2457255,00.asp

CNET
Free iPhone use? FreedomPop proves it’s possible
By Don Reisinger
April 29, 2014
http://www.cnet.com/news/free-iphone-use-freedompop-proves-its-possible/ 

GigaOm
Virtual operator FreedomPop brings its freemium service to the iPhone
By Kevin Fitchard
April 29, 2014
http://gigaom.com/2014/04/28/virtual-operator-freedompop-brings-its-freemium-service-to-the-iphone/ 

TheNextWeb
FreedomPop’s free mobile service comes to the iPhone
By Roberto Baldwin
April 28, 2014
http://thenextweb.com/mobile/2014/04/29/freedompops-free-mobile-service-comes-iphone/ 

LifeHacker
FreedomPop Unveils New Free iPhone Voice, Text, and Data Plans
By Alan Henry
April 29, 2014
http://lifehacker.com/freedompop-unveils-new-free-iphone-voice-text-and-dat-1568944798?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+lifehacker%2Ffull+(Lifehacker) 

Engadget
You can now use the iPhone for free, as long as you don’t mind old gear
By Jon Fingas
April 29, 2014
http://www.engadget.com/2014/04/29/freedompop-iphone/?ncid=rss_truncated 

CIO
Get Free Data, Talk and Text When You Buy an iPhone from FreedomPop –
By Bill Snyder
April 29, 2014
http://blogs.cio.com/mobilewireless/18551/freedompop-apple-iphone-sprint-data-plan

ZDNET
FreedomPop announces free voice and data plans for iPhone
By Jason O’Grady
April 29, 2014
http://www.zdnet.com/freedompop-announces-free-voice-and-data-plans-for-iphone-7000028860/

GizModo
Now You Can Get Totally Free Voice, Texts, and Data on Your iPhone
By Jamie Condliffe
April 29, 2014
http://gizmodo.com/now-you-can-get-totally-free-voice-texts-and-data-on-1569143815

FierceWireless
FreedomPop to sell refurbished LTE iPhone 5 for $349
By Mike Dano
April 28, 2014
http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/freedompop-sell-refurbished-lte-iphone-5-349/2014-04-28?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss

FierceWireless
FreedomPop to sell refurbished LTE iPhone 5 for $349
By Mike Dano
April 28, 2014
http://www.fiercewireless.com/story/freedompop-sell-refurbished-lte-iphone-5-349/2014-04-28 

Light Reading
FreedomPop Gets LTE iPhone, Free iOS App
By Dan Jones
April 28, 2014
http://www.lightreading.com/mobile/devices-smartphones/freedompop-gets-lte-iphone-free-ios-app/d/d-id/708818?_mc=RSS_LR_EDT

TWICE
FreedomPop Extends Free And Low-Cost Service To iPhones
By Joseph Palenchar
April 29, 2014
http://www.twice.com/articletype/news/freedompop-extends-free-and-low-cost-service-iphones/110761

BGR
You can now get completely free calling, texting and data on your iPhone
By Zach Epstein
April 29, 2014
http://bgr.com/2014/04/29/iphone-5-freedompop-free-data/

RCRWireless
FreedomPop adds iPhone 5, taps into Sprint’s LTE network
By Dan Meyer
April 29, 2014
http://www.rcrwireless.com/article/20140428/carriers/freedompop-adds-iphone-5-taps-sprints-lte-network/

TelecomPaper
FreedomPop offering iPhone on free service plan
April 29, 2014
http://www.telecompaper.com/news/freedompop-offering-iphone-on-free-service-plan–1010850

SlashGear
FreedomPop launches refurbished iPhone 5 on its calling plans
By Shane McGlaun
April 29, 2014
http://www.slashgear.com/freedompop-launches-refurbished-iphone-5-on-its-calling-plans-29326822/

MacLife
Overnight Recap: MacBook Air Price Cut, FreedomPop iPhone, Re/code Event
By J.R. Bookwalter
April 29, 2014
http://www.maclife.com/article/news/overnight_recap_macbook_air_price_cut_freedompop_iphone_recode_event

9to5 Mac
FreedomPop now supports iPhone 4/5 on its free wireless plans, launches iOS app for free voice & text
By Jordan Kahn
April 28, 2014
http://9to5mac.com/2014/04/28/freedompop-now-supports-iphone-45-on-its-free-wireless-plans-launches-ios-app-for-free-voice-text/ 

AppAdvice
FreedomPop Adds iPhone 5, iPhone 4 To Its Free No-Contract Plans
By Joe White
April 29, 2014
http://appadvice.com/appnn/2014/04/freedompop-adds-iphone-5-iphone-4-to-its-free-no-contract-plans

ramona-portrait-jpg-20140327Congratulations to Ramona Pierson and the team behind Declara on the recent $16M Series A round led by GSV Capital, with participation from Data Collective, Founders Fund, and Catamount Ventures.   In addition, GSV Asset management co-managing partner Mark Flynn joined the board.

Media coverage highlights are listed below.  Well done to all involved!

Declara Raises $16M for Personalized Continuing Education
Re/code
Liz Gannes
April 23, 2014
https://recode.net/2014/04/23/declara-raises-16m-for-personalized-continuing-education/
 

Declara Raises $16M at $100M Valuation for Predictive Learning in the Enterprise 
Dow Jones VentureWire
Lizette Chapman
April 23, 2014
http://pevc.dowjones.com/Article?an=DJFVW00020140423ea4navwhq&cid=32135016&ctype=ts&pid=32&ReturnUrl=http%3a%2f%2fpevc.dowjones.com%2fArticle%3fan%3dDJFVW00020140423ea4navwhq%26cid%3d32135016%26ctype%3dts%26pid%3d32
 
(full text below)
 
Deals of the day: Pure Storage raises $250 million
Fortune/CNN Money
Dan Primack
April 23, 2014
http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2014/04/23/deals-of-the-day-pure-storage-raises-250-million/?iid=HP_River
 

Declara’s social enterprise network is making teams smarter — and now it’s $16M richer
Kia Kokalitcheva
April 23. 2014
http://venturebeat.com/2014/04/23/declaras-social-enterprise-network-is-making-teams-smarter-and-now-its-16m-richer/

Declara raises $16 million in venture funding for personalized learning
San Jose Mercury News
Heather Somerville
April 23, 2014
http://www.mercurynews.com/business/ci_25620623/declara-raises-16-million-personalized-learning
 

GSV Capital leads Series A round for personalized learning platform Declara
Reuters/PE Hub
Iris Dorbian
April 23, 2014
http://www.pehub.com/2014/04/gsv-capital-leads-series-a-round-for-personalized-learning-platform-declara/
 

Declara raises $16M to apply machine learning personal learning
GigaOM
Derrick Harris
April 23, 2014
http://gigaom.com/2014/04/23/declara-raises-16m-to-apply-machine-learning-personal-learning/
 

Social learning platform Declara raises $16M
Vator News
Steven Loeb
April 23, 2014
http://vator.tv/news/2014-04-23-social-learning-platform-declara-raises-16m
 

Declara Raises $16M For Personalized PD
April 23, 2014
https://www.edsurge.com/n/2014-04-23-declara-raises-16m-for-personalized-pd

Declara lands $16,000,000 Series A funding
Xconomy
April 23, 2014
http://www.xconomy.com/san-francisco/2014/04/23/declara-lands-16000000-series-a-funding/
 

Software Company Declara To Expand Its Boise Office
KBSX NPR Boise – news also broadcast
Adam Cotterell
April 23, 2014
http://m.boisestatepublicradio.org/?utm_referrer=#mobile/43986
 

Tech firm Declara looking to hire more software developers in Boise
Idaho Business Review
Brad Iverson-Long
April 23, 2014
http://idahobusinessreview.com/2014/04/23/tech-firm-declara-looking-to-hire-more-software-developers-in-boise/
 
(full text below)

Education startup Declara raises $16 million for Asian expansion
Silicon Valley Business Journal
Richard L. Brandt
April 23, 2014
http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/04/23/education-startup-declara-raises-16-million-for.html
 

StrictlyVC: April 23, 2014
StrictlyVC 
Connie Loizos
April 23, 2014
http://www.strictlyvc.com/2014/04/23/strictlyvc-april-23-2014/
 

Gateway to Innovation, SixThirty winners; Amazon scores HBO: TechFlash 7 things
St. Louis Business Journal
Joe Dwyer
April 23, 2014
http://www.bizjournals.com/stlouis/blog/biznext/2014/04/gateway-to-innovation-sixthirty-winners-amazon.html
 

Declara raises $16M to apply machine learning personal learning 
CNN Money/Fortune (from GigaOM)
Derrick Harris
April 23, 2014
http://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/gigaom/articles/2014_04_23_declara_raises_16m_to_apply_machine_learning_personal_learning.html
 

Declara raises $16 million in venture funding for personalized learning
Inside Bay Area (from San Jose Mercury News)
Heather Somerville
April 23, 2014
http://www.insidebayarea.com/news/ci_25620624/declara-raises-16-million-personalized-learning
 

Declara raises $16 million in venture funding for personalized learning
Contra Costa Times (from San Jose Mercury News)
Heather Somerville
April 23, 2014
http://www.contracostatimes.com/news/ci_25620624/declara-raises-16-million-personalized-learning
 

Education startup Declara raises $16 million
Pulse 2.0 (from Re/code)
April 23, 2014
http://pulse2.com/2014/04/23/education-startup-declara-raises-16-million-107927/
 

Paofit London 3

The world’s greatest marathon goes digital next year as runners everywhere in the world are invited to line up on a virtual start line at 10:00 on Sunday, April 26, 2015 to run the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon.

The Virgin Money London Marathon, in partnership with Paofit, has created a unique interactive 3D running experience that combines HD video of the famous London course with virtual reality avatars, making the unique experience of running the London Marathon available to treadmill runners everywhere.

“Imagine lining up in Greenwich and hearing the cheers of the crowd as you run past the famous London landmarks of the CuttySark, Tower Bridge, Canary Wharf, the London Eye, the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace to the finish on The Mall, experiencing the unique atmosphere of the day without ever leaving your home or gym,” says Race Director Hugh Brasher.

Paofit iPad1Participating runners will download the Paofit app to an iPad(iPhone shortly and Android later in the year) and set it on a treadmill.The vibration generated by running on the treadmill makes the course ahead speed up, slow down or come to a complete stop, reflecting the runner’s step count. Runners will see their own running avatar and the avatars of the other participants in real-time and can overtake – or be overtaken – on screen.

Runners using Life Fitness Track+ or Discover console treadmills will experience the treadmill incline as it automatically matches the real terrain of the course on the video.Runners can participate as individuals or as a relay team.

The new technology was demonstrated today (Friday) at the Virgin Money London Marathon Expo in the ExCeL centre as runners tried out the Digital Showcase experience which features four miles of the London course.

“Over the years, nearly two million people have been unable to get a place in London Marathon through our ballot,” says Brasher. “Now, with our digital partners Paofit, we are opening the greatest marathon in the world to treadmill runners, everywhere. We hope it will inspire many more runners to take up the marathon challenge and, by doing so, raise even more money for charitable causes.”

“The Digital Virgin Money London Marathon will make the world’s greatest marathon accessible to people across the world, 365 days of the year,” says Sir Richard Branson, founder of the Virgin Group.

“Paofit is the first and only company to combine HD video of running courses with virtual reality avatars to make treadmill running fun and social,” says Marc Hardy, CEO of Paofit. “We’re excited to be able to give any indoor runner the chance to experience the course, from novice runners to experienced racers.”

To register for the 2015 Digital Virgin Money London Marathon, visit www.digitallondonmarathon.com . Full registration information will be sent out later in the year.

Try it out now! Log on to www.paofit.com to download the app and a free sample of one mile of the Digital Virgin Money London Marathon course.

Runner’s World
Run the Virtual London Marathon
April 11, 2014
http://www.runnersworld.com/electronics/run-the-virtual-london-marathon?page=single

BBC Sport
London Marathon launches ‘Digital Marathon’
April 11, 2014
http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/athletics/26989649

Reuters 
Virtual reality opens London Marathon to all
April 11, 2014
http://uk.reuters.com/article/2014/04/11/uk-athletics-marathon-virtual-idUKBREA3A18320140411

Huffington Post
Now You Can Run the London Marathon From Your Treadmill, Thanks to Virtual Reality
April 11, 2014
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/11/london-marathon-virtual-reality_n_5133309.html?ir=Technology

Inside the Games
Guaranteed entry for the London Marathon – through virtual reality
April 11, 2014
http://www.insidethegames.biz/sports/summer/athletics/1019421-guaranteed-entry-for-the-london-marathon-through-virtual-reality

Runner’s Web
Athletics: Virgin Money London Marathon Goes Digital
April 11, 2014
http://www.runnersweb.com/running/news_2014/rw_news_20140411_London_Marathon.html

The Malaysian Insider
Virtual reality opens London Marathon to all
April 11, 2014
http://www.themalaysianinsider.com/sports/article/virtual-reality-opens-london-marathon-to-all

FanSided
‘Virtual reality’ London Marathon coming in 2015
By Stu White
April 12, 2014
http://fansided.com/2014/04/12/virtual-reality-london-marathon-coming-2015/#!D4EP3

MedCity News
Travel the world on a treadmill (and beat the boredom) with a virtual reality exercise app
By Deanna Polgorelc
April 11, 2014
http://medcitynews.com/2014/04/wow-week-virtual-reality-meets-treadmill-beat-exercise-blues/

Weingarten_040113_088_editSAN FRANCISCO, CA – April 10, 2014 – The Hunt (www.thehunt.com), the app that sits at the nexus of ecommerce and photo sharing for millennials, today announced that Khosla Ventures is joining previous investor Javelin Ventures in bringing the company’s total Series B funding to $10 million. The funding follows the recent $5.5 million Series A investment with the total funding amounting to $15.5M million.  Proceeds will be used for hiring, as the company has doubled its staff since mid-2013, and plans to continue building its team to accommodate its rapidly growing user base.

Also announced today, Ben Ling, Investment Partner at Khosla Ventures, will join The Hunt’s board. Ling has an extensive track record as a senior executive at Google, YouTube and Facebook, helping these companies scale their users and revenues. Ling is also an angel investor in Square, Quora, Fab, Palantir, and PracticeFusion, with advisory roles at Pinterest and Pulse.

“In the last ten years, Google scaled its search revenue by understanding intent through text queries,” said Ling. “Today, The Hunt is changing the way that people shop online by identifying intent on the visual web. Monetizing the visual web is the next big opportunity, and we are looking forward to being a part of The Hunt’s success.”

Since its launch in January 2013, The Hunt has connected the inspiration and discovery of the visual web with intent, and ultimately purchase, on e-commerce sites by making photos “shoppable.” Today, over half a million monthly active users (MAU) and 100,000 daily active users (DAU) on mobileengage with The Hunt as a fun, quick way to turn shopping into entertainment. The average user spends nine minutes per session on The Hunt, rivaling engagement levels usually only seen in social and gaming spheres. More than 2 million Hunts are started and followed per week.

“Try typing ‘little black dress’ in Google and you get 331 million results. Try finding the perfect one (conservative or edgy or silky or flowing) and you’ll see how time-consuming this task can be,” said Tim Weingarten, CEO and co-founder of The Hunt. “The Hunt is the first solution to shoppers’ deep-rooted frustration in trying to find exactly what they’re looking for, fast. If you have a photo of a dress you really like but can’t find, chances are our  community of like-minded shoppers will have a suggestion for you, probably within a day.”

The Hunt taps into existing passion for fashion, the camaraderie of community, and the enticement of an ongoing, fun, but achievable challenge. Unlike online fashion marketplaces that are limited by size of catalog, extent of index or automated approaches to nuanced searches, the fast-growing and altruistic community of shoppers that makes up The Hunt provides a place to get suggestions for coveted fashions that match a shopper’s taste at the at their specified budget.

“We’ve been inspired by stories from our users, like Rachel Talbott, who has a great lifestyle and beauty You Tube channel called Check In The Mirror, who was searching for a pair of metallic silver heels but couldn’t find them anywhere. She posted a picture of the heels on The Hunt, and told the community that she wanted them for under $100. The community immediately identified the original shoes and also provided Rachel with a few budget friendly options, completing her quest for the perfect pair of heels,” Weingarten added.

The Hunt is available for iOS at www.thehunt.com/iphone and on the web at www.thehunt.com.

About The Hunt

Founded in 2011 by Tim Weingarten and Simon Peck, The Hunt is a global community of shoppers centered on bringing together fashion images that inspire with the ecommerce sites that make the attainable. The company is backed by Khosla Ventures, Javelin Ventures, among others. For more information about the San Francisco-based startup, please visit www.thehunt.com.

WWD
The Hunt Closes on $10M Series B Round
By Vicki Young
April 10, 2014
http://www.wwd.com/business-news/financial/the-hunt-closes-on-10m-series-b-round-7636916

FashInvest
Photo Sharing App, The Hunt, Secures $10 Million in Series B Funding
By Ashley Paintsil
April 10, 2014
http://www.fashinvest.com/phot-sharing-app-hunt-raised-15-million-series-funding/

VC Post
The Hunt takes in new funds valued USD10 million
April 10, 2014
http://www.vcpost.com/articles/23267/20140410/the-hunt-raises-10m-from-khosla-for-crowdsourced-shopping.htm
 
re/code
The Hunt Raises $10M to Help People (Mostly Young Women) Track Down Products They Covet
By Liz Gannes
April 10, 2014
http://recode.net/2014/04/10/the-hunt-raises-10m-to-help-people-mostly-young-women-track-down-products-they-covet/

wochit
The Hunt Raises $10M From Khosla For Crowdsourced Shopping (VIDEO)
April 10, 2014
http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x1nc1hh_the-hunt-raises-10m-from-khosla-for-crowdsourced-shopping_tech
 
TechCrunch
The Hunt Raises $10M From Khosla For Crowdsourced Shopping
By Leena Rao
April 10, 2014
http://techcrunch.com/2014/04/10/the-hunt-raises-10m-from-khosla-for-crowdsourced-shopping/
*Note: also listed in CrunchBase Daily

Fashionista
The Hunt Raises $10 Million, With New Backing From Khosla Ventures
By Eliza Brooke
April 10, 2014
http://fashionista.com/2014/04/the-hunt-raises-10-million-with-new-backing-from-khosla-ventures/

PandoDaily
“Like fantasy football for shopping.” The Hunt grabs $10M to spin social shopping into intent-based gold
By Michael Carney
April 10, 2014
http://pando.com/2014/04/10/like-fantasy-football-for-shopping-the-hunt-grabs-10m-to-spin-social-shopping-into-intent-based-gold/

Cloud Consulting International Blog
San Francisco-based community-driven shopping app The Hunt has raised a $10 million
By Jarrett Neil Ridlinghafer
April 10, 2014
http://cloudwiser.wordpress.com/2014/04/10/san-francisco-based-community-driven-shopping-app-the-hunt-has-raised-a-10-million/

Dow Jones Venturewire
The Hunt Captures $10M Series B for Online Shopping App
April 10, 2014
http://pevc.dowjones.com/article?an=DJFVW00020140410ea4aplbqd&from=alert&pid=32&ReturnUrl=http%3a%2f%2fpevc.dowjones.com%2farticle%3fan%3dDJFVW00020140410ea4aplbqd%26from%3dalert%26pid%3d32
 
Reuters peHUB
Khosla Ventures invests in The Hunt, bringing Series B round to $10 mln
April 11, 2014
http://www.pehub.com/2014/04/khosla-ventures-invests-in-the-hunt-bringing-series-b-round-to-10-mln/
 
WSJ Venture Capital Dispatch
The Daily Startup: Wall Street Unease Dragging Startups Down
April 11, 2014
http://blogs.wsj.com/venturecapital/2014/04/11/the-daily-startup-wall-street-unease-dragging-startups-down/
 
Vator TV
Funding roundup – week ending 4/11/14
April 11, 2014
http://vator.tv/news/2014-04-11-funding-roundup-week-ending-4-11-14

Strictly VC
StrictlyVC: April 11, 2014
April 11, 2014
http://www.strictlyvc.com/2014/04/11/strictlyvc-april-11-2014/

SiliconTap
The Hunt Finds $10 Million
April 11, 2014
http://www.silicontap.com/the_hunt_finds_million/s-0054514.html

PYMNTS.com
Crowdsourced-Shopping Site The Hunt Nabs $10 Million in Investment From Khosla
April 11, 2014
http://www.pymnts.com/news/social-commerce/2014/crowdsourced-shopping-site-the-hunt-nabs-10-million-in-investment-from-khosla/#.U0xcvChfdss

Website Magazine
Crowdsourced Shopping Site “The Hunt” In Focus
April 11, 2014
http://www.websitemagazine.com/content/blogs/posts/archive/2014/04/11/crowdsource-shopping-site-the-hunt-in-focus.aspx