Wireless networking may be getting a high-speed boost across Nigeria as Y Combinator alumnus Tizeti looks to expand in the region.
The company has raised $2.1 million in new financing from a slew of African and American venture firms to continue its expansion through Lagos and across Southern Nigeria.
Alphabet may have scrapped its ambitious project to wire Africa (and the globe) with visions of autonomous drones, and Facebook’s Free Basics offering may have stumbled, but with its own basic blocking and tackling Tizeti is plugging away towards profitability.
The plan, says company founder Kendall Ananyi, is to eventually wire much of sub-Saharan Africa with Tizeti’s towers — and create an Xfinity-like network of wifi providers throughout Lagos that any of the company’s customers can access on the go.
Currently, Tizeti’s customers are averaging 900 gigabits of Internet usage at peak times, and roughly 200 gigabits of internet usage on average — all through the company’s uncapped internet providers scheme. Telcos cap their data offerings at 40 gigabits.
The company’s offering is based on Tizeti’s ability to build and site low-cost wifi towers, according to our previous coverage.
Tizeti’s business model wrings cost efficiencies from every part of the development process, he said. The company saves money on siting and development by offering free wi-fi services to the owners of the land where the company builds its 100-foot-tall wi-fi towers. The towers themselves are powered by solar modules instead of electricity from the grid or an on-site generator.
For the basic service, customers get wi-fi internet at a speed of 10mbps. Typical customers will use anywhere from 100 gigs to 1 terabyte per month, says Ananyi.
While the company’s service is typically offered in the home, it is getting set to debut a new universal hotspot service for anyone with a cell phone. That cheaper plan, can be made available to anyone who has a wi-fi enabled device, says Ananyi.
Tizeti is going to expand its network of towers from its current 45 to an additional 55 over the next 9 months to complete its coverage of Nigeria at speeds of up to 10 mbps, unthrottled.
Backing the company’s plan are a host of American and international investors including: Western Technology Investment, Social Capital, Vy Capital, Picus Capital, Ace & Company, Lynett Capital Partners, Zeno Ventures, Michael Seibel (CEO of Y Combinator Core), Gabriel Hammond and a number of funds & angels.
In addition to completing the coverage of Lagos, the new funds will cover applications to meet regulatory requirements in preparation to launch in English Speaking West African countries.