We have a lot of longtime Karma users who are making the upgrade to Karma Go from Karma Classic, our first generation device. But for even more of you who ordered Go, this is the first time you’ll be using Karma WiFi. Welcome.
Karma was founded upon the mission that the mobile industry is broken and needs some fixing. In 2013, a consumer survey asked Americans to rank the services and businesses they use most, and out of 43 industries, internet service providers came in dead last. The truth is, mobile carriers aren’t very likable.
Unfortunately, it’s for good reason. We all remember that infamous cringe-inducing phone call that went viral after a Comcast rep wouldn’t let a customer cancel his internet service. And that’s just one example.
Tackling the big ISPs seems like a mighty challenge for a small startup. But we’ve been committed to that idea since the beginning.
Working out of the Techstars office
We started out in 2012 and launched through Techstars, a startup accelerator in NYC that helps entrepreneurs turn their ideas into real, funded businesses. From there, we shipped our first device in December 2012, which connected to the WiMAX 4G network and got you online in around 80 cities.
A healthy dose of startup scrappiness went into getting Karma Classic off the ground, including hours of manually scanning inventory, shuffling between whatever affordable office space we could find (in two countries, no less), and doing it all with only six full-time team members.
CTO Stefan Borsje shows off the first ever Karma prototype
VP of Sales and Marketing Amanda earns her scanning stripes
Fortunately, people really liked Karma Classic. We couldn’t get enough of all the stories we heard about how our customers were using it. And based on customer feedback, we built two mobile apps, started selling packs of data to help users save money, and even started accepting PayPal and Bitcoin as forms of payment. The one major complaint that we heard consistently: coverage.
We built Karma Go because we knew we could do better. We made some hardware improvements, but most importantly, Go will run on 4G LTE with fallback to 3G, giving you coverage almost everywhere instead of just big cities. Along with Go will come a bunch of other improvements to make the experience more seamless: freshly-designed mobile apps, a new sign-in page, and notification emails that are much more clear.
Today's Karma team getting a lesson on all the parts inside Go
We’re still a startup, and we’ll always have a scrappy mentality, but we’ve grown to 25 team members (in a real office) working to build an internet service provider that you actually like. We’re glad to have you along for the ride.