November 16, 2012
Cambridge, Ontario — The Honourable Gary Goodyear, Minister of State for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), announced today a Government of Canada investment for Fongo Inc. that will help the company expand the reach of its unique mobile application.
"Our Government's top priority is jobs, growth and long-term prosperity for Canadians," said Minister of State Goodyear. "Our investment in Fongo's latest innovations will benefit the company, and it will also have a large impact on southern Ontario's competitiveness, through unique next-generation applications."
Fongo is a mobile communications company that provides affordable calling and messaging to most of Canada through a free smartphone application. The Fongo application installs easily and lets customers talk and text using their existing data plan or nearby Wi-Fi connection, instead of more expensive voice minutes. This allows Fongo Inc. to offer highly competitive rates on local and long-distance calling and text messaging.
Fongo has partnered with established companies to co-brand the service. With Dell Canada, Fongo launched Dell Voice in February, and the application is currently available for iPhone and Android users. Through FedDev Ontario's Investing in Business Innovation initiative, Fongo Inc. is receiving a repayable contribution of up to $850,000 to research and develop the next-generation of the mobile service.
"Fongo offers a unique business model for telecommunications, but our drive to innovate doesn't stop there. Fongo is focused on building mobile experiences that make communicating not only cheaper, but smarter, more social, and more intuitive," said Jody Schnarr, CEO of Fongo Inc. "The government's support of Fongo is critical to powering that innovation. The FedDev Ontario investment will directly lead to job growth and furthering southern Ontario as a global leader in mobile communications."
Fongo Inc. is receiving $1.7 million from private sector investors in the Cambridge and Waterloo area, including venture capital firm Tech Capital Partners and members of the Golden Triangle Angel Network and Angel One Investor Network.
The Investing in Business Innovation initiative is designed to boost private sector investment in start-up businesses to accelerate the development of new products, processes and practices and help bring them to market. Funding under the initiative is also available for angel investor networks and their associations to attract new investment and support the growth of angel investment funds. Applications for funding are being accepted and assessed on an ongoing basis. For more information, please refer to the program guidelines available on the FedDev Ontario website.
Created in 2009, FedDev Ontario supports the southern Ontario economy by building on the region's strengths and creating opportunities for jobs and economic growth. The Agency has launched a number of initiatives to create a Southern Ontario Advantage and place the region in a strong position to compete in the global economy. These initiatives are designed to encourage partnerships and support projects that help the region’s businesses and communities become more competitive, innovative and diversified. To learn more, please visit www.FedDevOntario.gc.ca or call 1-866-593-5505.
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For more information, contact:
Director of Communications
Office of the Honourable Gary Goodyear