Kenyan startup, Poa Internet, has received $28 million from a financing round led by African 50. The infrastructure financier backed by the Africa Development Bank (AfDB) Group and a good number of African governments, hosted an innovation challenge that sought affordable and reliable solutions for last-mile internet connectivity across the continent where Poa Internet.
The internet service provider (ISP) has received $28 million in a Series C funding round led by Africa50, bringing the total amount it has raised to date to $36 million. Also participating in the latest round was Novastar Ventures, one of the firm’s earliest backers.
Poa plans to use the new funding to grow its reach, first across Kenya, then progressively to other countries in the continent.
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.
Poa Internet’s CEO said that the company is all about connecting the unconnected of Africa to create opportunities for growth, learning and economic stimulus through digitization.
“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,” he said.
“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. This is particularly important at a time when societies and economic activities are increasingly becoming digitized as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Increasing access to reliable and affordable internet connectivity is strongly aligned with the key pillars of Africa50’s strategy, and we are excited to be part of this high-impact journey and to support Poa’s growth in Africa,” he added.