Tizeti is a Nigerian technology company that has one clear mission – to bring affordable and reliable wifi internet to Lagos, before moving across the country and beyond Africa. Unlike other telcos, who many think have a monopoly on internet data services in the country, Tizeti can keep costs low for its consumer-facing brand, wifi.com.ng, because it is investing heavily in building out its own solar-panelled network of towers across Lagos, as well as a network of over 3,000 public hotspots across the city.

Having graduated from famed Silicon Valley tech incubator, YCombinator, the team behind Tizeti have this week closed on a $2.1m Seed investment round from Western Technology Investment, Social Capital, Vy Capital, Picus Capital, Ace & Company, Lynett Capital Partners, Zeno Ventures and a number of angel investors including Y Combinator’s Michael Seibel and Gabriel Hammond.

I recently spoke to Tizeti CEO Kendall Ananyi, looking at how the company intends on deploying this investment, as well as how they have overcome market challenges as they’ve grown.

Tizeti Co-founder Kendall Ananyi
Tizeti Co-founder Kendall Ananyi

Who is Tizeti and what is your mission?

Tizeti was launched in 2012 as a niche ISP to deliver internet to Estates but relaunched as Wifi.com.ng in 2014 to the mass market with the goal of providing a sustainable solution to the poor internet connectivity problems in Nigeria and Africa. We provide fast Wifi technology and unlimited, uncapped Wifi internet through our own solar power base stations.

Closing an initial seed fund round of $2.1M is impressive for an African start up. How do you intend on using this round of investment?

We are really pleased with this round of investment. It will help us to continue building our own solar powered outdoor Wi-fi infrastructure in Lagos to deliver unlimited internet, as well as supporting the launch of our new Xfinity Wifi-like Hotspot service, which will see the creation of 3,000 new public hotspots across Lagos.

Nigeria has the highest number of internet users in Africa. However internet infrastructure within urban environments remains a challenge in the country and the continent. What steps has Tizeti taken to address…