A couple of days ago, Nigerian technology firm Garanntor launched its services in Kenya. The company, which offers infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) solutions for developers, among other products, was founded in 2016 and has deployed its services to multiple regions across the world, including the U.K., U.S., Latin America (Brazil) and Asia Pacific (India). Its African presence was heightened with Kenya’s launch, with more offices in Ghana, Uganda, South Africa, Zimbabwe, and Egypt.
It is worth noting that the international company coined its name from the term ‘guarantee’ that is pegged on assurances and manipulated it to communicate its goals that go in line with what customer demands. It is those web-based requirements and demands that Garanntor aims to meet, with 99.9% uptime.
We got hold of Garanntor CEO, Olalekan Ajayi who gave us more insights into the company’s operations, why it chose to expand to Kenya and its plans. At its core, Garanntor’s focus is IaaS services that encompass web hosting, virtual and cloud servers, domain name registration, among other complementing services such as secure socket layer (SSL) offerings. Mr. Ajayi says the company’s plan is to elevate its product portfolio to be the go-to IaaS service provider in Africa owing to its expansion spree that should see its business in additional African states.
Garanntor insists it has something new to offer to the Kenyan market owing to a couple of differences that set it apart from the competition. To begin with, the firm is run by full-time experts. According to Mr. Ajayi, a lot of IaaS providers are managed by people who take web services as a secondary job. Secondly, Garanntor owns its infrastructure, which means it is not a retailer. It is also among the 10 percent of web hosting companies that has its datacentres in Africa. At the same time, it is worth noting that its operations are independent of Garanntor Nigeria. In other words, Garanntor Kenya is a Kenyan company – and that is the same business model the firm is pursuing to realize as it expands.
“The Kenyan office has its infrastructure in the country. Hence, customers will benefit from several gains that come with local hosting, including increased speed and admirable performance for businesses,” Ajayi told Techweez. He added that Kenyan website owners could see a substantial boost in speed by using locally accessible infrastructure that is in line with global standards. Visitors will save time and data owing to increased load speeds on their browsers.
The CEO mentioned that enterprise customers such as governments are an essential part of the company and constitute up to 20 percent of the business. While enterprise services are critical for Garanntor, Mr. Olalekan Ajayi insists the business targets all sets of clients, including novice web developers (marked by products such as website builders) and advanced users.
The firm mentions that all its services are available for Kenyan customers. For instance, web hosting starts at KES 55 per month. It has tuned the service to accommodate a variety of websites for SMEs, e-commerce and professional business portals. Virtual servers, which function like metal servers but run on a flexible virtualization layer, start at KES 950. Cloud servers, on the other hand, start at KES 2600 per month, whereas 5 mailboxes will attract a KES 500 fee. What’s more, Garanntor has dedicated and optimized WordPress hosting. It is a premium service that is tuned to meet performance, updates and security requirements.
Active web hosting services will be complemented by free SSL Certificates for life, even if a customer is paying on a monthly. Among the perks of paying yearly is scoring a free domain and the aforementioned SSL cert and unlimited emails accounts. Additional details can be found on their website.
Garanntor told Techweez they are planning to acquire a number of local web hosting companies especially upcoming firms. However, this exercise is not limited to Kenya but all the markets it operates. This is one of the company’s goals as it ascends to become Kenya’s top web hosting institution. Future goals include expansion to Tanzania, Rwanda, and Uganda by Q3.
In our introduction piece, we questioned Garanntor’s plan in conquering the Kenyan market as space is fiercely competitive thanks to the presence of older companies that offer the same services. Ajayi says the market is big, which is why Garanntor’s approach stands a chance to slicing the web hosting cake as it spurs to elevate its value proposition in the country.