Internet Service Provider, Mawingu, is on the verge of closing a new investment round in the coming months, as it moves to capture a larger share of the digital market in the country.
With over 7,000 active users, Mawingu is the country’s largest Internet service provider catering to rural Kenya, with a presence in 15 counties, notably in the Mount Kenya region.
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 to 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.
“All these towns have proved that the unit economics of expansions with low-cost and flexible infrastructure can be successful.” Mawingu’s Chief Executive Officer, Farouk RAMJI says:
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’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.” Mr. RAMJI adds.
Mawingu is now positioning itself as a provider of quality 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.
The Kenyan Internet industry has traditionally been dominated by a few well-established players who have captured a larger share of the market in urban areas. Yet, the lack of rural Internet penetration has left a customer gap that smaller and more agile companies are now learning how to leverage.