In an era where digital devices are ubiquitous, Mode Mobile’s CEO Dan Novaes presents a compelling case for re-envisioning the utility of smartphones. This founder profile examines the company’s approach to converting routine mobile interactions into potential income streams. Through this lens, we explore the implications of Mode Mobile’s business model and its potential impact on the broader digital economy. Join us in an analytical exploration of how Mode Mobile seeks to redefine the intersection of technology and personal finance.
In your own words, how would you describe your company?
Mode Mobile transforms the smartphone– the world’s most accessible income-generating asset– into a reliable source of earnings for users.
The smartphone market comprises 7 billion people, who cumulatively spend 4 trillion hours annually on their phones. While big phone companies rake in record profits and reach record-breaking valuations, smartphone users don’t reap any direct financial benefits.
Companies like Airbnb and Uber have revolutionized their industries by turning people’s cars and homes into sources of income. So, why not smartphones? We want to put this economic power back into the hands of consumers by allowing users to earn money using their phones, whether streaming videos, searching the web, or playing games.
Mode Mobile has helped 40 million users across 170+ countries earn and save over $150M. We’re just getting started.
What inspired you to take the leap and start this company?
We saw a massive opportunity. Yet billions worldwide earn less than $12,000 annually, and many people in the US can’t even cover a basic emergency. A whopping 56% of Americans do not have $1,000 in savings.
We were inspired to provide an easy, engaging way for people to leverage their daily phone usage to earn and save extra income. Now, Mode can act as an economic lifeline for so many people.
Who is on your team and how did you come together?
My co-founder Kiran and I have worked together for over a decade. We have over twenty years of experience in the mobile phone industry. At MobileX Labs, we created applications that resonated with tens of millions of users. Given our successful track record, collaborating on Mode Mobile was an obvious choice.
Now, we have a global team from the world’s biggest companies, including Microsoft, Intel, Google, and Goldman Sachs. We’re unified by a shared vision to revolutionize the smartphone industry and help billions of people build wealth.
Do you have any direct competitors?
While there are companies in the rewards and advertising space that have similarities to our business model, such as Honey, Rakuten, and Roku, none of them offer a singular, integrated operating system that brings all earning opportunities under one roof. Mode Mobile is unique in encompassing hardware (Mode EarnPhone) and software (Mode EarnOS).
We have a first-mover advantage and see ourselves at the intersection of three enormous, multi-billion-dollar markets: smartphones ($485B), digital ads ($566B), and mobile apps ($207B).
Can you tell us more about your entrepreneurial background and the status of your past companies?
I’ve had this entrepreneurial spirit since I was a kid, from hustling Pokémon cards to later, during my college years, kickstarting a successful eCommerce business that was doing millions of dollars of year in revenue from my dorm room.
Before Mode, I was the Co-Founder and CEO of Nativ Mobile, a solution for online publishing on mobile platforms, and MobileX Labs, a company focused on app design and development with tens of millions of monthly online users. I have established various businesses across international e-commerce, consumer products, and media from an early age, approaching nearly $100M in revenue.
I’ve built Mode Mobile from 0 to 40+ million audiences across 170 countries, attracting capital from billionaire angels and institutional investors M25, Romar Capital Partners, Innovate Indiana, Merrick Ventures, Garland Capital, and Pallasite Ventures.
If we speak again in 12 months, what milestones will you have achieved?
In 12 months, we’ll have been the first company to successfully launch and scale the first free phone service disrupting the entire telecom space. We’re also focused on diversifying revenue drivers through digital advertising and deal syndication, direct-to-consumer subscriptions, and sales and licensing to original equipment manufacturers, telecommunications carriers, and distributors.
Given our traction with $50M+ generated in revenue and over 2M 5-star reviews, we are well-poised to tackle this trillion-dollar opportunity- and disrupt the industry as we know it.