Funding Friday: goTenna Puerto Rico Mesh

Our portfolio company goTenna sent a bunch of their mesh networking devices to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria and a number of mesh networks lit up on the island.

This is what the goTenna network map looks like on the west side of the island now:

So they kicked off this crowdfunding campaign to purchase another 300 devices to get more mesh connectivity on the island.

I backed the project yesterday and it would be great if the AVC community could close this out with more donations today. The total raise is $15k.

If you want to learn more about goTenna, this Techcrunch story is a good place to start.

In a few short months the goTenna mesh device has built this network around the US:

I’ve been a fan of the idea of people-powered mesh networking for a long time. It is great to see it happening.

#crowdfunding#mesh networks

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Big fan and watcher of this and saw the Techcrunch article early today.This is the company out of Porto I believe? One of the coolest places on Earth and gateway to both community mesh and the Douro Valley simultaneously!

    1. Michael B. Aronson

      No , out of upenn and proudly made in brooklyn, we did the series seed and a

      1. awaldstein

        thanks for clarifying. just across the river from me is even better.

    2. fredwilson

      No. You are thinking of Veniam

  2. William Mougayar

    It looks like they are in Canada too, according to the map, no?

    1. Michael B. Aronson

      The latest version, gotenna mesh, is legal to operate outside of the us due to frequency it uses. The mesh capabilities is what makes this application possible.

  3. pointsnfigures

    Very cool.. Wish they had it up in the backwoods country of Minnesota. Would be useful in the Boundary Waters.

    1. fredwilson

      That’s what the Mesh was designed for. Hiking etc

  4. Tom Labus

    PR could use some electricity too

  5. jason wright

    this has the characteristics of the replication dynamic of cellular division (biological). growth could accelerate exponentially once it passes a critical mass threshold.

  6. Lawrence Brass

    The future belongs to open networks.Why we have to pay telcos for the last mile or neighborhood connectivity?In my dreams the last mile is a mesh network of domiciliary smart routers, owned by the public, so yes I am a fan too.We have to campaign for more public use RF spectrum availability.

    1. Lawrence Brass

      And speaking about openess and goodness, today I am visiting AVC in my new shiny Firefox Quantum 57.0, parked outside. ;)Considerable faster and snappier in Windows 10. Will try it in MacOS and Linux too.Give it a try.

      1. creative group

        Lawrence Brass:Replying to your own post very unique.

        1. Lawrence Brass

          Thank you creative group. I am not a collective so I sometimes feel lonely. 🙂

    2. jason wright

      could this tech find its way inside our mobile devices and eliminate incumbent mobile networks entirely?

      1. Lawrence Brass

        I think it cannot be replaced entirely but there are use cases where it could, as dense urban areas or a group of people on the move. The basic hardware is in place, our mobiles have radio equipment capable of receiving and transmitting via RF in predefined bands. There is this phone paradigm that we have to evolve towards the internet of things and mobile swarms of interconnected devices, as goTenna.Technically it is completely possible even with current hardware, but there is a missing piece at the OS level in phones, a network driver that would be aware of other nodes around and make the phone act both as node and router. Every device could have an unique ipv6 address. The only thing we need is to get Apple, Google and Broadcom to work together on this and also do some lobby to free RF spectrum chunks for public use (unlicenced spectrum)If your combine these mobile swarms with home base stations that could act as cell antennas and smart routers to link with the telcos and the internet backbones, it could be very powerful and transforming and a true threat to the incumbents.++ wrote Broadcom but meant Qualcomm. Qualcomm and others have done cool experiments and developments with LTE over the unlicensed 5GHz spectrum (free) which is traditionally used by WiFi. Their focus is to use it as a sideband channel to augment bandwidth though, but there it is as a proof of concept. There is also some controversy with the use of this band for LTE from interested parties that argue that it will spoil WiFi connectivity. It is inevitable to think about the incumbents fighting back to protect their business spaces.We need the legislators and regulators to catch up!

  7. Humberto

    We don’t pay to consume oxygen in personal quantities, we shouldn’t pay to consume air bandwidth in personal quantities.the word that came to mind when I read this was “wholesome”.

  8. karen_e

    Backed and tweeted! El pueblo unido jamás será …

  9. Frank W. Miller

    Kewl idea. Is this that tiny little radio that they we saw trying to use in cities, 2W in the Amateur band or something? While this is probably helpful, it would be interesting to see some operational stats. How many users per node? What’s the average bandwidth being served per node?If you really want this demo to look good for the future, a couple of the nodes should have their radio transmitter power increased and they should be put on the tops of hills and mountains. That way they act as relays for larger areas.

  10. mplsvbhvr

    Backed. Always feels go to be a part of a solution that helps people get back on their feet. Thanks for sharing Fred.

  11. Joe Marchese

    Great cause… happy to have pitched in.

  12. Tom Labus


  13. Michael B. Aronson

    Company just officially announced entry into canada including retail distribution, can also ship

  14. Lawrence Brass

    Thanks for the invite Daniela, it will be a pleasure to join. 🙂

  15. Humberto

    I gave up after being routed twice through a string of redirects on the way to the meshcommunity website… I’ll do it later it at some point. congrats though