Tizeti, a Nigerian internet service provider, has secured an investment worth $3 million in its series A funding round. This support should help the startup realize its plans to expand low-cost internet access across the wider West African subregion.
The announced support is coming from a group led by 4DX Ventures, an Africa focused venture capital firm. The investor party also includes Y Combinator, Social Capital, Lynett Capital, Western Technology Investment, Friale, and Golden Palm Investment. This comes just a year after Tizeti clinched $2.1 million in seed investment.
Tizeti is fairly well known for its cheap internet service provision packages. For a country with less than optimal connectivity, its unlimited wifi enabled internet access- which costs ₦9,500 -is an attractive proposition. They’ve kept costs low by operating with solar-powered base towers.
Perhaps the biggest news from Tizeti till date- apart from their two funding scoops- was their announcement in 2017 of a partnership with Facebook to roll out hundreds of wifi hotspots across the country. Since its emergence from Y Combinator’s incubation program, Tizeti has extended its services to 150,000 users and is said to have over 7,000 public wifi hotspots spread over Nigeria’s major urban centres.
It’s this combination of smart energy strategy and liberalized internet access that has scored this ISP some points with investors.
Kendall Ananyi, Tizeti’s CEO, says the startup was built to plug Africa’s internet connectivity gap. He points out that their idea was to develop a solution that took cognizance of possible issues with pricing. They surmounted this challenge by powering their towers with solar electricity, a less expensive alternative to energy derived from fossil fuels.
Tizeti, through its brand, wifi.com.ng, provides broadband internet to residents, businesses and events. Their data offerings range from small-sized data bundles to unlimited internet access.
Following the recent funding success, Tizeti is looking to extend its services to other parts of the continent, beginning in Ghana. It’ll be doing this through a new brand, wifi.africa, which is due to launch later in 2018. The ISP could also be strengthening its operations back home with upgrades to its product and an improvement in general customer experience.
Nigeria is home to Africa’s largest population of internet users; the National Communications Commission estimates that there are over 100 million people with access to the internet in the country. It’s also a market keenly contested over by several internet service providers. But it’s seen as part of a broader continent-wide market, one that Tizeti and its competitors are eager to get a greater share of.
This year has seen a lot of investment wins for Nigerian startups. In the first half of the year, Nigeria based tech ventures attracted over $80 million in funding from investors. The trend since then has been similarly positive. The latest boost to Tizeti’s operations fits in with this.
Feature image: innovation-village.com