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FON wins another Eur10m investment

Fon, the open wifi maverick from Spain, said Thursday that it has raised an additional Eur10m (£6.8m) from both current and new strategic investors.

On his blog, Martin Varsavsky, FON’s founder and CEO, said the money adds to the total of around $35m raised since the company launched last year. Fon received Eur18m in financing from Google, Skype, Index Ventures and Sequoia Capital during 2006.

No details will be given on whether UK incumbent BT is among this round’s investors. The British giant has been rumoured to be interested in investing in FON which claims to be the largest wifi community in the world. It claims it has in excess of 320,000 members with 120,000 wifi access points, 60,000 of which were added in the last 60 days. 

Fon said it will disclose the names of its newest investors at “a later date”.

BT’s interest in FON has never been confirmed by the telecoms giant which has, in the past, said it would not allow FON or any services like it, onto the BT network. That followed calls from Martin Varsavsky, chief executive and founder of Fon, for consumers to generate their own telecoms infrastructure through the use of wifi hardware at ITU in December. 

In a statement seen by Telecoms.com, Fon said the new funds will go towards its expansion. It said: “Fon intends to focus on growing and offering more services and products to its Community members while continuing to increase its market penetration by reinforcing its presence through retail channels and partnership deals.”

Varsavsky said: “We are very proud of what we have built this last year with our fantastic shareholders and just as proud to welcome the support and insight from notable industry heavy weights. Having some of the most respected players in the world validates and strengthens FON’s vision.”

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