Varsavsky has succeeded in providing entire countries with free roaming based on shared wifi hotspots, and thanks to this recent funding looks set to continue.
Telecom entrepreneur has announced the completion of a further financing round totaling $14 million (€10.3 million) for Fon, the global WiFi sharing network which he founded and acts as CEO..
Qualcomm Ventures, the venture capital arm of Qualcomm Incorporated, once again led the fundraising round, emphasizing their special relationship with Fon as a strategic investor as well as developing products that are mutually beneficial to both companies.
For example Fon are reportedly in the latter stages of developing a new generation of router capable of combining social WiFi with social music, that will be based on a chipset developed by Qualcomm Atheros, a Qualcomm subsidiary.
This latest round of funding takes the total amount raised since Fon was founded in 2006 by, to more than $80 million (€60 million).
Fon’s Wi-Fi coverage is reported to have increased by 50% during 2013, currently standing at 12 million WiFi hotspots throughout the World. Fon’s winning formula of converting existing WiFi hotspots into community hotspots, has proved to be an ever increasing success, with the company have succeeded in reaching near pervasive levels of WiFi coverage in countries such as the UK, France and Belgium, with considerably larger countries such as Brazil and Japan gaining ground rapidly
According to Martin Varsaksky, Fon can currently boast having significant coverage in more than 1, 000 major cities, making the company the world’s largest WiFi operator when it comes inner city coverage.
Announcing the latest round of funding, Martin Varsavsky stated that not only the amount of capital raised in this round is important, but also the caliber of investors, who will help us propel Fon into our next stage of growth.
“We are excited about our new relationship with Qualcomm, which is an amazing company and a leader in mobile data communication. By integrating Fon into Qualcomm Atheros’ chipsets, more devices and systems will be automatically equipped to be part of the Fon’s global WiFi network.” Varsaksky summed up.
Apart from their new router, Fon is soon to launch their “WiFi for Business” concept, described as a WiFi solution for Small and Medium Businesses.
Fon intends to use some of the funds raised to further expand the spread of their service, not just into the U.S., but also other global regions where their service is yet to reach. According to Varsavsky, Fan expects to reach 35 million WiFi hotspots by 2016.
Fon has offices in Madrid, London, Tokyo and New York.
Martin Varsavsky was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, although he has made his Madrid, Spain since 1995. Martin and his family left Argentina in the mid seventies, to live in the United States under the status as political refugees, escaping the cruel and repressive military junta which controlled the country during those years.
Varsavsky graduated as a BA from the New York University, in 1983 , going on to earn an MA in International Affairs from Columbia University, completing his University education bey gaining an MBA from the Columbia Business School.
Since the late 1980s Martín Varsavsky has founded seven companies all of them involved, in one way or another, in either the telecommunications or new media industry.