Funding for start-ups based out of Africa has proven to be a challenge (when compared to their foreign counterparts in SV and Singapore). Although, there are reported improvements as in 2016, African tech start-ups raised $366.8M as opposed to the $276.5m the year before. So, every news about funding for a startup in this space is exciting for us.
I attended a tech event on Friday which had Tizeti (wifi.com.ng, their consumer facing brand) as its internet service provider. Before then, in 2016, Tizeti was one of the partners for the Nigerian Internship fair organised by Stutern. One thing at this stage is clear, Tizeti is into wireless networking. But there is more.
Tizeti as a Comcast for Africa
Tizeti addresses poor internet connectivity on the continent. The startup, was co-founded by Y-Combinator Alumni Kendall Ananyi and Ifeanyi Okonkwo, cohorts of the Winter 2017 batch. They do this by developing solutions for reliable and uncapped internet access for millions of Africans.
Tizeti is taking advantage of the falling costs of solar panels in Africa to create a network of owned towers which they operate.
Running its internet network from its own infrastructure allows their Wifi.com.ng to be more competitive in its pricing. Offering a subscription plan starting from N9,500 (about $30) per month puts them at an advantage over other WiFi service providers and telcos. For instance, N10,000 would get you only 15GB on Etisalat and Smile Network.
“Since graduating from Y Combinator, we’ve licensed Spectrum (fees and pricing) from the Nigerian Government and signed an IRU contract with a Submarine Cable provider to extend the coverage of our Unlimited Internet Service, which will put Tizeti in a stronger position to roll out additional services to more people such as our new Wifi Hotspot Service”.