The Omidyar Network and IGNIA, a venture capital fund that supports high growth social enterprises serving the base of the socioeconomic pyramid, have announced that they will lead a $13.75 million round of Series B financing to support the expansion plans of low-cost Mexican mobile telecommunications provider Finestrella.
The investment, which also includes contributions from Bay Partners and Storm Ventures, will help Finestrella increase the availability of its current offerings while developing new products and services, including smart phones and data plans. While there is a huge demand for access to mobile telephony in Mexico and Latin America, many mobile providers in the region require costly initial handset investments and are out of reach for those without bank accounts or credit cards. Available in ten cities across Mexico and reaching some 40 percent of the population, Finestrella's offerings provide an affordable alternative with no upfront costs.
"There is strong evidence that expanding access to telecommunications can have massive social and economic benefits," said Omidyar Network VP of investments Amy Klement, who will join Finestrella's board. "Finestrella has developed a truly innovative model to do exactly that — enable greater access at significantly lower prices for the consumer. Given the enormous customer need and the company's strong value proposition, the model has the potential to quickly extend to many new geographies."