Jana, a Boston, MA-based provider of free, unrestricted Internet access in emerging markets, raised $57m in Series C funding.
The round was led by new investor Verizon Ventures with participation from existing investors Spark Capital and Publicis Groupe.
The company will use the funds to accelerate expansion into emerging markets.
Jana also announced that Tim Armstrong, CEO of AOL, has agreed to serve on the company’s advisory board. Maurice Levy, CEO of Publicis, is also an advisor, and further bolsters Jana’s ability to serve its advertising partners around the world.
Led by Nathan Eagle, CEO, Jana provides free, unrestricted internet access in emerging markets to more than 30 million people. The company’s model shifts the cost of data to brands via sponsored content, letting users download, try and engage with apps and in return gain free data to be used anywhere on the internet. Its mCent Android app unlocks free data in exchange for brand engagement, allowing users to earn data that can be used anywhere on the internet – for example using another app like WeChat, to do a Google search or to watch a YouTube video.
It currently partners with more than 3,000 brands (including Amazon, Saavn, Twitter, and WeChat), and 311 mobile carriers.
Following the launch in India and expansion into additional key markets, such as Indonesia and Brazil, the company aims to start operations in China.