Techopia Live: Frank is a phone hoping to become an Ottawa-born revolution

Editor's Note

frank. Phone's crowdfunding campaign has been suspended by Indiegogo. Techopia has reached out for comment and will publish an updated story accordingly.

This week, Techopia Live sat down with frank. Phone, a team of four entrepreneurs that say they are so pissed off at the “big guys” charging thousands of dollars for a smartphone that they made their own. And now, they’re ready to sell it to you.

Frank doubles as both the company’s name and attitude. The local startup launched a crowdfunding campaign Tuesday on Indiegogo, aiming to raise $250,000 on its way to mass producing what they say is an affordable, quality phone.

For pledges as low as US$180, backers will receive the frank. Phone after fundraising and production processes are complete around January 2018. As of writing, the team is 20 per cent of the way towards its goal after roughly 24 hours.

Moe Omer, co-founder and chief technical officer, says there’s a simple reason no one has tried to mass produce a phone that goes head-to-head with the “big guys.”

“I feel like people are afraid. And that’s completely fair. Investors aren’t looking to invest in a company that’s looking to stand up to the likes of Apple, Samsung and LG, because that’s suicide. That’s literally what an investor told me, it’s a suicide project,” he told Techopia Live.

“That’s fair, but somebody still needs to do it.”

The company decided on crowdfunding as a way to cultivate a community around frank.

“We wanted to do more than just build a product. We want to build a movement,” says CEO and co-founder Fahd Alhattab.

Over the course of our interview, the two founders responded to criticisms about their choice in crowdfunding campaign and manufacturing process. Hear them discuss their backgrounds, the origins of the idea and where the idea might go by watching the video above.