SAN FRANCISCO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2012) - Open Garden, the Mobile Internet innovator, announced today the closing of a $2 M seed round of funding from technology industry leaders. Open Garden allows people to securely and seamlessly connect smartphones, tablets, and computers to share wireless data connections between friends, family and other Open Garden users.
The seed funds will be used to expand the Open Garden team with A-level developers, accelerate the implementation of new features and continue to improve the mobile connectivity of its software users. Investors in Open Garden include Allan Green who is leading this round and was an early investor in Phone.com and Mobileway; David Ulevitch, current CEO of OpenDNS; Derek Parham, creator of Google Apps for Business; and Digital Garage who was an early investor in Twitter and Path.
"Social Wireless Sharing could be the next big thing for Social Network Service users. Open Garden opened the door first, so we backed them," said Kazuya Minami, investor, Digital Garage.
Carriers, People and Innovators all Benefit
In 2011 Credit Suisse reported that, in the United States, wireless networks were operating at 80% capacity. Open Garden helps carriers deliver better data coverage, relieve congestion on their networks by offloading 3G and 4G Android phone traffic to Wi-Fi and maximize speed through operator's multi-data network utilization. Carriers can deploy Open Garden with a fast ROI as it is a full software solution involving very low CAPEX and no OPEX.
The Open Garden application provides connectivity everywhere, especially in public places, where Internet access often requires a credit card. Open Garden connects data services on all nearby devices -- including those belonging to friends, family or even other Open Garden users in the vicinity -- into a single network that everyone can access at the same time.
Open Garden was lauded as one of the top startups at TechCrunch Disrupt in May. After the competition, renowned investor Fred Wilson wrote, "My favorite was Open Garden. By a long shot. Because what they are doing is the most worthy of the conference name, Disrupt."
Micha Benoliel, Open Garden co-founder and CEO said about the seed round closing, "Our investors see the impressive opportunity our company has and, with their guidance and support, Open Garden will continue to disrupt the mobile industry for the benefit of all Internet users."
About Open Garden
Open Garden is a San Francisco-based startup dedicated to bringing Internet everywhere: to every device, every person, and every location. Open Garden connects nearby smartphones, computers, and tablets into a mesh network on Android, Windows, and Mac devices. Founded in 2011 by Skype and BitTorrent alumni, Open Garden released its first application, Open Garden Wifi Tethering, in early 2011. Over a million people have installed Open Garden WiFi Tethering and moved 0.03% of North America's mobile traffic in 2011.
Key words: WiFi, Tethering, Internet, Hot-Spot, Mobile data, Wireless, Smartphone, Android, Web, Broadband, Mac