We live in an age of instant communication, making it easy to forget that those connections can be tenuous.
When disaster strikes, the Wi-Fi, mobile and satellite networks we take for granted are often the first things to go. That gap in communication can put the lives of survivors and emergency responders at stake, leaving both parties blind as they sift through the aftermath of a hurricane or tornado.
As we prepare for a world with hundreds of billions of connected things, we should never again have to contend with an unconnected last mile.”
GoTenna aims to patch that gap with its mobile mesh network platform. Based in New York, the company announced on Tuesday that it raised $24 million in a Series C round to bring its communication tools to first-responders, the U.S. military and everyday people.
Those steps further the company’s goal of eliminating crucial moments where people are disconnected, said Daniela Perdomo, goTenna’s founder and CEO, in a statement.
“As we prepare for a world with hundreds of billions of connected things, we should never again have to contend with an unconnected last mile,” Perdomo said. “Paired with phones or integrated into any device or machine, goTenna mesh networking turns everything in the world around us into programmable mobile infrastructure.”
GoTenna launched in 2012 in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, which wiped out a third of cell towers and power stations in affected areas, according to the company. As a result, the company set out to create an off-grid connectivity solution that would work with smartphones and other devices.
The company has since created pocket-sized antennas that pair with smartphones and other devices to keep them connected when networks go down. The devices enable private transmissions, extend battery life through its charging capabilities and are lightweight. The company offers a line available for consumers, who may need it to communicate on a remote hike, as well as first responders and other professionals.
Meanwhile, goTenna has also landed several multi-million-dollar U.S. government contracts for its hardware and software, according to the company. Its customers include all branches of the military along with several agencies within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and local and state organizations.
With this round, goTenna aims to create a development platform that integrates with emergency apps like the U.S. Air Force’s ATAK, and supports communication between multiple agencies and communication systems.
Founders Fund led the round, with participation from ComCast Ventures and existing investors like Union Square Ventures, Collaborative Fund, Walden VC, and more.