GoTenna, the startup that allows you to textual content with out cell sign, raises $7.5M and launches with REI

GoTenna, the startup that lets you text without cell signal, raises $7.5M and launches with REI

GoTenna, the gadget for individuals who need to keep related once they don’t have cell sign, has discovered a pure launch companion — outside gear retailer REI.

Daniela Perdomo, goTenna’s CEO and co-founder, advised me that REI has signed on to be the startup’s unique retail launch associate. For the subsequent three months, the one place you’ll be capable of purchase goTenna, apart from the goTenna web site, will in REI shops nationwide (the place they’re getting outstanding placement, as you possibly can see within the New York retailer photograph above) and the REI web site.

GoTenna has created a light-weight gadget (1.eight ounces) that makes use of Bluetooth know-how to attach with different goTenna units. Meaning you possibly can ship textual content messages and share your location (by way of pre-downloaded maps) even once you don’t have a cell connection.

It’s not only for use within the nice outdoor, however that’s in all probability the obvious use case, so REI looks like a pure associate. In a press launch, REI class merchandising supervisor Egan Whitley described goTenna as “an revolutionary answer for teams and associates who nonetheless need to keep in contact by way of textual content throughout their outside adventures.”

The startup can also be saying that it has raised a $7.5 million Collection A led by Walden Enterprise Capital, with participation from MentorTech Ventures, BBG Ventures, Bloomberg Beta,, Mobile One founder Kenneth Horowitz and Howard Finkelstein. (BBG, which stands for “constructed by women”, is a subsidiary of Verizon, which additionally owns TechCrunch.)

Perdomo stated the funding will permit her to increase the thirteen-individual goTenna workforce (properly, thirteen plus interns). For one factor, she stated she’s been “virtually a one-individual advertising operation,” so she’ll be increasing that a part of the corporate. On the similar time, goTenna may also proceed to spend money on product improvement, notably enhancing the prevailing hardware via updates to the software program and firmware.

Perdomo additionally talked concerning the shopper response that she’s seen since delivery the primary merchandise final fall. She informed me that at this level, goTenna has bought “tens and tens of hundreds” of units.

“It’s not about utilizing it day-after-day,” she added, however slightly ensuring it’s helpful “when it’s your solely selection,” like when a gaggle of associates goes into the woods and they should keep related. Perdomo additionally stated clients are discovering new makes use of: “Individuals may purchase it for snowboarding after which understand, ‘Oh, I can use it for touring overseas.’ Or they could purchase it for mountaineering after which hold it for emergencies.”

GoTenna presently prices $199 for a pair of units. Wanting forward, Perdomo stated that is simply the primary goTenna system, and can finally function “the idea for an entire stack of applied sciences that we’re creating — firmware, networking protocols, software program, hardware addresses — that addresses the necessity for completely resilient, bottoms up communication infrastructure.”

Featured Picture: goTenna