Internet Firm Mawingu Eyes Kenya Expansion With Incoming Fund

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mawingu network subscriptions drop CA report q1 2019

Internet service provider Mawingu, which is also associated with Microsoft, and offers its services in the Mt. Kenya region, has announced that it is nearly closing a new investment round. This development will conclude in the next couple of months, and the funds will play a key role in its expansion plan.

At the moment, Mawingu has more than 7K active users. Most of its customers are found in the rural parts of the country (including Central Kenya). It has so far expanded its product to 15 counties.

The company has already begun to increase its outreach into towns that have not been well served and are generally neglected by the larger players in the industry. In the past few months, Mawingu has expanded into Marsabit, Garissa, Wajir, and Voi towns, which other providers have not given primary priority due to the high capital cost and logistical complexities involved in providing them with reliable and affordable connectivity.

As said earlier, Mawingu also confirms that the expected funding will be utilized to increase its coverage into 25 additional counties. In preparation for the said expansion, the company has rebranded, introducing a new logo, a fresh set of company values, and its renewed mission, all reflective of its long-term vision to open opportunities to customers across the region.

Mawingu is now positioning itself as a provider of internet at affordable rates, with the capacity and desire to connect frontier regions that have never had access to meaningful Internet. In just the past year, the company became EBITDA positive, and grew its sales by 300%, without having to incur new expenses.

Mawingu’s goal of providing this service to underserved and unconnected regions was also explored by the likes of Loon, which used 4G internet-beaming balloons to provide a connection. Loon tested the service in Kenya alongside Telkom Kenya. However, its parent company, Alphabet, decided to discontinue the venture, thus ending its program in the country and other parts of the world.

Mawingu’s Chief Executive Officer, Farouk RAMJI says: “All these towns have proved that the unit economics of expansions with low-cost and flexible infrastructure can be successful. 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.”

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Kenn Abuya is a friend of technology, with bias in enterprise and mobile tech. Share your thoughts, tips and hate mail at [email protected]