poa! Internet receives $28M from a financing round led by Africa50
When Africa50 launched its innovation challenge calling for solutions to improve last-mile connectivity to increase access to reliable and affordable internet in Africa, it received 673 proposals. Kenya’s poa! Internet was among them. The proposal they presented was later announced as the winner and the company received $100,000 dollars as prize money.
poa! Internet has once again managed to secure a $28 million financing round after completing the Africa50’s equity investment for which it was considered for after emerging the winner in 2020. This funding will be used to support the company’s future growth plans across Kenya, as well as launch the business into further African markets.
“Poa is all about connecting the unconnected of Africa to create opportunities for growth, learning, and economic stimulus through digitisation. We have a young, energetic and committed team, that are working tirelessly to make our vision a reality. Now with Africa50’s investment, we can ramp up our roll-out plans and provide value to even more communities across Kenya,” commented Andy Halsall, Poa Internet’s CEO in a press statement issued by the company.
Also participating in the first closing is Novastar Ventures, which is making its third investment into the company and a number of other existing shareholders. Since starting operations in 2016, Poa has continuously improved its operations and market position and currently has over 12,000 home internet customers, as well as tens of thousands of street Wi-Fi customers. This additional funding demonstrates investors’ confidence in Poa’s ongoing strategy and underscores the need for African Internet Service Providers (ISPs) that focus on bridging the digital divide across the continent.
“We are delighted to partner with Poa Internet on its mission to provide unlimited broadband internet to underserved communities,” said Raza Hasnani, Managing Director and Head of Infrastructure Investments at Africa50.
“Poa has been instrumental in bridging the needs of last-mile connectivity, and their ultra-low-cost solutions can be used to address the significant connectivity gaps in Kenya and across the continent as a whole,” he added.
Raza Hasnani further noted that this investment is very important at this particular time when societies and economic activities are increasingly becoming digitized as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. He said increasing access to reliable and affordable internet connectivity is strongly aligned with the key pillars of Africa50’s strategy, and are excited to be part of this high-impact journey of supporting Poa’s growth in Africa.
Poa Internet currently serves over 12,000 customers both homes and small businesses in Nairobi and tens of thousands more through its street Wi-Fi connections.