Mawingu Networks, a rural and peri-urban internet service provider in Kenya, has received a funding boost of $9 million (KES1.1 billion) from three equity investors.
InfraCo Africa, which is backed by the UK, Netherlands, and Switzerland governments, invested $6 million (KES 739.5 million) into the company, while existing institutional investors E3 Capital and Dutch development bank FMO contributed $1.5 million (KES 185 million) each.
InfraCo Africa stated in a statement, “InfraCo Africa’s $6 million commitment, delivered through its dedicated investment arm, will support Mawingu to roll out infrastructure across Kenya that will increase access to affordable internet connectivity to underserved households and businesses.”
Founded in 2012, Mawingu uses wireless technology to provide internet services in rural and peri-urban areas, and currently operates in Kenya’s 15 counties. According to the Communications Authority of Kenya, Mawingu had 14,370 internet subscriptions, or 1.5% of the total market share, in the three months leading up to September 2022.
The latest funding round will enable Mawingu to expand to an additional 25 counties, with a focus on rural markets.
In February 2023, the company will begin its expansion plans in western Kenya, targeting Kisii, Migori, Bungoma, and Kakamega. Mawingu stated, “This kick-off will set the pace for the year as more parts of the country will be connected monthly, moving forward.”
This funding round comes as a part of the ongoing efforts to increase access to affordable internet connectivity for underserved households and businesses in Kenya. In January 2022, Poa Internet received KES 1 billion from Africa50 to expand its services to low-income areas in Kenya and beyond.