Startup Business Gabb Wireless Pulls $14 Million to Produce Safe Phones for Children

By James White Thursday, April 22, 2021

While smartphones often provide many important functions and tools to the average user, they can easily become addictive. For children, smartphones provide a source of independence as well as entertainment and social exposure, but they also carry inherent risks like cyberbullying and screen addiction. Startup company Gabb Wireless seeks to provide children with a safe smartphone and cellular network. The smartphone business recently garnered $14 million from investors for its mobile device company.

Funding for the startup business was led by Sandlot Partners as well as Taysom Hill, quarterback for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League. The capital generated from investors during the Series A round will allow the business to expand its line of products and accelerate its delivery of safe smartphones for children.

“We’re excited to announce our partnership with Sandlot Partners and Taysom Hill, who share our passion to drive impact and provide solutions to the growing screen addiction among adolescents,” said Stephen Dalby, founder and CEO of Gabb. “Taysom’s accomplishments as a BYU and Saints quarterback are well documented, and he’s also very impressive off the field and will be a great brand ambassador for the younger demographic Gabb is targeting.”

Little girl on wireless phone.

A Safe Entry-Level Phone

Founded in 2018 by Dalby, Gabb Wireless was established to provide parents with an alternative to traditional smartphones on the market. Namely, the startup company seeks to make the business of finding a child’s first phone less expensive and more practical. Rather than dropping over $700 for the latest phone from Apple or Google, Gabb Wireless presents an alternative option.

Smartphones built by the business slash unnecessary functions that increase screen time and usage for children. Contrary to how a company like Apple would advertise its latest iPhone, Gabb Wireless actually touts the lack of features supported by devices from its company.

The Gabb Z2 Phone features only 14 “essential applications” including apps for phone calls and texting, music, camera, photo and video galleries, and tools like the calendar and calculator. Phones from the startup business do not have access to the internet, mobile games, or social media. As a result, Gabb Wireless sells its minimalist smartphone for about $100, much lower than the industry standard for a new mobile device.

“As an investor, Gabb checked all the boxes with its impressive growth, founding team and total addressable market,” said Hill. “But so much more than that for me is the emotional side of the investment. I love the idea that we can help build something to help save kids in an area that has so much need and demand.”

Disrupting the Smartphone Industry

Market research expects the global smartphone market to grow at a CAGR of 3.6% from 2020 to 2025. The startup is attempting to disrupt the industry by creating a much simpler and cost-effective smartphone design for young children. Whereas competing products from Apple, Google, and Samsung encourage usage and deploy more features, Gabb Wireless slashes functions in an effort to protect children from inappropriate content, cyberbullying, and screen addiction.

About the Author


Headshot of James White

James White is a Michigan State University graduate with a BS in Environmental Biology. He is interested in reporting emerging trends in technology, especially with regard to alternative energy and environmental conservation.

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