Illinois-based startup Mesh++ spearheading worldwide internet expansion efforts fueled by new $4.9 Million seed round

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Danny Gardner grew up a tinkerer, creating contraptions to prank his school teachers. Now he’s the founder and CEO of Mesh++, a multi-million dollar startup with investors including TechNexus Venture Collaborative, Anorak Ventures, SOSV, Illinois Ventures, and others. Most recently, the company completed a $4.9M seed funding round, led by impact investor World Within Ventures to accelerate its goals of making the world more connected than ever.

“The fundraising marks a major shift in the company, from a pure R&D-driven company over the past few years, and towards focusing more on sales, and turning the company into a more mature organization,” said Gardner to Haje Jan Kamps at TechCrunch.

For many of us, especially those living in urban areas and densely populated countries are probably taking our internet access for granted, but there are billions of people in rural communities right here in the US and around the world, who make do with unreliable or non-existent internet service. Mesh++ is laser-focused on bringing internet connectivity to rural and underserved communities via small-cell infrastructure, built to scale wirelessly.

Purpose-built for ease and simplicity, Mesh++ solar-powered nodes can go anywhere — no cables or technicians required, enabling anyone to bring internet to their community.

“When we first started the company, it was primarily geared towards emerging markets and the need for internet access,” says Gardner. “At first, we didn’t realize how big of a problem it is here at home in the U.S. Slowly over time, we shifted more towards fixing the connectivity problems in our own backyard.”

Just a few weeks ago (November 15, 2021), President Joe Biden signed a $1.2T infrastructure package, delegating $65B funding to improve broadband internet. Specifically, there’s $42.5B for grants to buy and build Wifi networks like Mesh++. With its top line specifications, Mesh++ products would be a great choice for states looking to fulfill the plan and provide citizens with sufficient wifi access.

“[The reality is] you need high-speed internet to participate in the 21st-century economy.”

— Danny Gardner, via Bootstrapping in America.

As for Gardner, he’s no longer pranking teachers. He graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois in 2017 after which, he was admitted to a Master’s program at Stanford University but later left to focus his attention full-time on leading the company. Mesh++ has grown a lot since then and with this new $4.9M in seed funding, the aspirational goal of connecting the world doesn’t seem as far out into the future.

Prior to this funding round, other notable company milestones and recognition include:

  • Charlamagne Tha God helps get free Wi-Fi for Colony Apartments in Columbia, powered by Mesh++ (News19)
  • Chicago aldermen showcase “wireless, trenchless, solar-powered routers” installed on Chicago Park District and CPS buildings (Chicago Sun-Times)
  • Wifi Install in Chicago’s Douglass Park helps students get online when they need it most (Block Club Chicago)
  • Entrepreneur Danny Gardner named one of Crain’s Chicago Rising Stars in Tech, 2020 (Crains) & 2019’s 20 in their Twenties (Chicago Business)
  • Danny Gardner of Mesh++ | Bootstrapping in America by tastytrade (YouTube)

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TechNexus Venture Collaborative, helping leading corporations and ambitious entrepreneurs work together to create new business models, new revenue streams, new products, and new markets. We’ve made over 150 investments in promising, purpose-built startups with several related to the IoT, connectivity, and data analytics. Check out the complete portfolio or subscribe to our newsletter for more news and insights.

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