The Africa Development Bank (AfDB), a financier Africa50, and several African governments hosted an innovation contest to find affordable and reliable solutions for Africa’s last mile connectivity. The winning proposal was submitted by Poa Internet from Kenya, beating 673 other proposals worldwide. This will add to Africa50’s investment pipeline.
One year later, the internet service provider (ISP), has raised $28 million in Serie C financing led by Africa50. So far, the company has raised $36 millions. The round was also participated in by Novastar Ventures, one of the company’s early backers.
Poa Internet will use the funds in order to expand its reach throughout the country and to eventually move to other countries. Andy Halsall is the CEO of Poa Internet. He stated that while he is currently focusing on Kenya, the problem he’s solving is continental-wide.
Poa Internet serves over 12,000 customers through street wifi connections in Nairobi’s low- and middle-income communities. The company has identified the fiber network areas that are not typically targeted by top providers like Safaricom, Zuku and Faiba by Jamii Telecommunication Limited.
Poa Internet charges its customers a $13 monthly fee, which is about half of the market rate. Poa Internet’s customers have unlimited data. This is a very attractive feature for internet users in the country, where many major ISPs offer data-capped monthly subscriptions. The startup also plans to set up public WiFi hotspots. More TechCrunch