Fresh from its successful late 2014 Indiegogo campaign for its Lantern reciever which raised more than $637K from 6,642 backers, New York-based Outernet Hardware has returned to the crowd, this time on its private fundraise on Fundable. Outernet, ‘Humanity’s Public Library,’ enables anyone to receive data anywhere in the world without paying a cell phone company. Outernet shares information similar to receiving GPS — free and globally available from space — except Outernet also shares info including entire websites, videos, ebooks and datacasts. Any media experience available online can be delivered independently of the internet using Outernet, according to the campaign. A user device connects to a receiver via Wi-Fi; content is viewed in a browser on any device with requiring new software.
In February 2015, Outernet received a $1.5 million grant from the UK Space Agency in partnership with Clyde Space to develop Outernet’s own satellite constellation. The first launch is planned for early 2016. Outernet also boasts a hardware and content partnership with the World Bank as well as content partners and clients including Project Gutenberg, Elsevier, Deutsche Welle, and Empowering Health. Currently, the Outernet datacast reaches more than 4 billion people with over 500 MB per day; complete global coverage is coming summer 2015.
“Outernet is simultaneously creating a digital media experience and a new platform for distributing that media. Outernet is not just a popular radio station, we are FM. Outernet is not a platinum album, we are the compact disc itself. Outernet is not just the bestselling book, we are the printing press,” averred the tech startup.
As the startup introduces Outernet’s functionality over the coming months, the campaign notes three major customer types for sponsored data:
- Individual User. This will be a person who wants to use Outernet to broadcast some form of digital content. YouTube’s motto is “Broadcast Yourself,” with Outernet that will actually be true. Users will pay on a per MB basis over our free allotment.
- Content creator. Our pilot customer, UNICEF, is a good example of how this would work. They pay on a recurring basis to broadcast their content to Outernet’s audience.
- Advertiser. There will be opportunities to display ads alongside content and within the Outernet UI. We want ads to enhance our content experience, not get in the way.
Outernet anticipates that its hardware sales will constitute a significant share of revenue initially as it seeks to encourage market adoption. “Our open platform means our receiver technology is not proprietary, again with the aim being mass adoption,” stated the campaign Outernet sells individual components and complete kits for users to assemble their own receivers on its store, launched June 2015.
Have a crowdfunding offering you'd like to share? Submit an offering for consideration using our Submit a Tip form and we may share it on our site!