FreedomPop Gets ‘Acquisition Interest’ From Two Carriers

FreedomPop Inc., a mobile service backed by Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, said it has “received interest to acquire the company” from two wireless carriers.

One of the potential bidders is based in the U.S., while another is international, the Los Angeles-based startup said in an e-mailed statement.

“The price mentioned so far has been in the nine figures,” according to the statement.

FreedomPop offers free and low-cost mobile phone and Internet services that run on Sprint Corp.’s network. The company is increasing subscribers and revenue by 50 percent quarter over quarter and could reach 1 million subscribers next year, FreedomPop said.

Founded in 2011, the startup received $16 million in funding from Zennstrom’s Atomico investment company, Mangrove Capital Partners, DCM and Square 1 Bank.

Zennstrom co-founded Web-calling provider Skype with Janus Friis and sold the company in 2005 to online auction site EBay Inc. for $3.1 billion. Later, a group that included Zennstrom bought back Skype and sold it to Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) in 2011 for $8.5 billion in cash. Zennstrom also co-founded startups including Kazaa BV, Joltid Ltd. and Joost.

The FierceWireless newsletter first reported yesterday that FreedomPop has received interest from one carrier.

To contact the reporter on this story: Olga Kharif in Portland at okharif@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sarah Rabil at srabil@bloomberg.net Stephen West, Ben Livesey

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