Today I’m excited to announce US Mobile’s Series A raise led by Larry Cheng at Volition Capital.
Over the past decade, wireless operators in America spent more than $300 billion in building and maintaining their networks. Over the next decade, those investments are slated to surpass $500 billion. So our vision for US Mobile was not to spend billions and billions of dollars to build a competing cellular network to Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile. These companies have already done that. And they’ve done it well with impressive coverage and lightning fast speeds that will only get better in the near future with 5G.
But unless you’re a utility, ownership of the supply is not the only piece of the equation in an increasingly customer-centric world. It’s one thing to build a mobile network that can cover millions of square miles. It’s another to get customers connected to that network in a delightful, easy-to-use way.
And we’re at a time where there’s been incredible transformations in the telco industry: from wires to wireless, from voice calls to data streaming, and from basic phones to iPhones, smart watches, drones, self-driving cars, and more. Few other industries have evolved this much this quickly, and in the coming years, this evolution will only accelerate, unleashing new users, use cases, and billions of devices. Only a nimble, customer-focused company that’s fully focused on changing consumer needs will be able to keep up and serve the proliferating use cases for the coming decades.
That’s why we saw an opportunity to combine the connectivity that traditional carrier networks offer with a modern software layer to build the next-generation hybrid network operator.
Not only is it okay to use legacy components of an industry as a key ingredient to your disruptive company, it can actually be a significant advantage. By choosing to leverage, rather than to rebuild, the functional infrastructure, you can put all of our resources and energy into the differentiators and value propositions that make you 10x or 100x better at addressing product market fit with your early adopters and first niche target audiences.
This approach isn’t new, as almost every single neobank, payment processor, and insurtech company is built on top of a traditional sponsor or a network, whether it’s Chime Bank, Stripe or Lemonade. In all of these examples, these companies built modern, digital offerings on top of traditional underlying networks. They focused on digital experience and customer needs to deliver service in a new, imaginative way that can attract tons of customers who are tired of the same old, one-size-fits-all approaches. And by not being saddled with billions of dollars of fixed assets and infrastructural maintenance costs, they’ve had the space to build a culture of innovation which enables them to continuously iterate their product.
Fortunately for us here at US Mobile, we were built for this moment and the future and I am thrilled that we have Larry Cheng and Volition capital along for the journey. Larry has an incredible track record. He led Chewy.com’s Series A among other notable investments but if you want to know the man behind all of these investments, read this.
This also comes at a time that happens to be especially exciting for this industry. With 5G networks coming online and coverage rapidly expanding, and eSIM technology proliferating, we’re perfectly positioned to take advantage of our technological and software know-how to build out the software layer and user experience for these advancements to best serve the next generation of mobile connectivity.
I’ll be the first to tell you all that this is only the beginning. I’m incredibly proud of the entire US Mobile team, past and present, and all the hard work that they’ve put in to get us to this point. We’ll celebrate appropriately and appreciate this milestone—not every company with a dream gets anywhere this far.
But our vision is ambitious, and our mission to transform wireless connectivity through technology and empathy won’t take days off. We’ve got our work cut out for us to continue delighting our amazing customers, and to prove that we can deliver better features and services to millions more Americans across the country.
Tomorrow it’s heads down again.
With USM love,