Kenyan internet service provider, Mawingu, raises US$9m to expand operations across Kenya
Nanyuki, Kenya, 1 Feb 2023 – Mawingu, a Kenyan based Internet service provider operational in 15 counties, successfully closed their Series B investment bringing onboard new investor and ARE Member InfraCo Africa, part of the Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG). InfraCo Africa’s US$6 million commitment, delivered through its dedicated investment arm, will support Mawingu to roll out infrastructure across Kenya that will increase access to affordable internet connectivity to underserved households and businesses. InfraCo Africa was joined by Mawingu’s institutional investors E3 Capital and Dutch Entrepreneurial Development Bank FMO, contributing US$1.5 million each as part of this fundraise.
Mawingu’s Chief Executive Officer, Farouk Ramji said: “Mawingu’s aim is not to simply drop an Internet cable at someone’s house. We seek to help our customers access new opportunities for work, education, entertainment, and social connections through the power of the internet. Our company’s mission is driven by this very purpose: Open Opportunities. Mawingu is positioning itself as a provider of quality Internet at affordable rates, with the capacity and desire to connect frontier regions that have never had access to meaningful internet.”
Currently, Mawingu operates in 15 counties and has more than 7,500 active customers. The new round of funding will enable the company to expand to an additional 25 counties in Kenya, focusing on rural markets.
Over the past year, Mawingu has proved that there is a demand for quality internet connectivity for commercial enterprises and homes outside of urban centers. The company rebranded late last year with a refreshed look and company values reflecting the long-term impact Mawingu brings to its end users. Mawingu’s ambition is to connect 250,000 Kenyans over the next five years and its efforts have been noticed worldwide by Microsoft Vice Chairman and President Brad Smith during an interview with Bloomberg, where he acknowledged Mawingu’s contribution to the wider ambition of bringing internet access to 100 million Africans by targeting the underserved markets in Kenya.
InfraCo Africa Chief Investment Officer, Claire Jarratt, said: “Access to the internet is a key driver of economic development, and InfraCo Africa is pleased to be supporting Mawingu’s pioneering telecoms business in Kenya. As our first telecoms investment, Mawingu appealed to us as its services are designed to provide affordable internet access tailored to the needs of underserved rural customers.”
Bertrand Ketchassi, InfraCo Africa Investment Manager added “With the total addressable market of 12 million homes, we believe this is the right investment at a key stage of the sectors’ growth.”
Mawingu will begin its expansion plans in February 2023 and has set its eyes on western Kenya targeting Kisii, Migori, Bungoma, and Kakamega. This kick-off will set the pace for the year as more parts of the country will be connected monthly, moving forward.
Stadia Capital played an instrumental role acting as the transaction advisors for the raise and Bowmans Kenya acted as the legal advisors.