I love seeing all of the tech innovation that is coming out of Africa! It seems like U.S. investors are catching on to this, as well. Tizeti, a startup company launched via the business accelerator Y Combinator, just closed a $2.1 million seed round that includes consumer-facing brand Wifi.com.ng. The company has been working tirelessly to provide reliable and affordable Wi-Fi services to hundreds of residential areas and SME’s across Nigeria.
According to a recent press release, “The platform will offer unlimited, uncapped internet service across Lagos, Nigeria.”
Investors include Western Technology Investment; Social Capital; Vy Capital, Picus Capital; Ace & Company; Lynett Capital Partners; Zeno Ventures; and a number of angel investors, including Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel and Gabriel Hammond. With this capital, Tizeti will be able to extend its services across the region, launching a Wi-Fi hotspot service similar to that of Xfinity. It will also scale-up in terms of mobility with the inclusion of 3,000 new public hotspots across Lagos.
Tizeti was founded by Y Combinator Alumni Kendall Ananyi and Ifeanyi Okonkwo, “cohorts of the Winter 2017 batch,” reports IT News Africa.
“Today’s seed announcement allows us to grow aggressively in the Nigerian market, and we will continue to invest in building out our own solar powered infrastructure, as well as refine and expand our consumer focused product that delivers reliable, cost-effective Wi-Fi to potentially millions of Nigerians. We aim to ‘win Lagos,’ with a view to expanding across the West African region over the next 18-24 months,” Kendall Ananyi stated, in the press release.
It’s truly amazing to see so many international founders come to the U.S. to raise funding, then take their knowledge back to their own continents. There is so much room for growth, and the numbers are astounding. According to the press release:
“It is estimated that 26% of Africans are online, however only 6% having an internet subscription. As the use of solar power in West Africa grows, Tizeti is building out its network of 35 owned and operated towers, taking advantage of the rapidly decreasing cost of solar panels in the region; providing unlimited, disruptive pricing internet with a basic speed of 10mbps. Additionally, the company owns a delivery network that facilitates internet connectivity from Submarine Cables directly to their customers through its solar-powered Wi-Fi towers.”
This is all very exciting news for Lagos, and—hopefully—the continent as a whole. It will be very interesting to watch the way Tizeti develops over the next couple of years.
For more information on Tizeti, click here.