Poa! Internet, an internet service provider (ISP), has received Ksh. 3.2 billion (USD 28 million) in a Series C funding round led by Africa50. Other participants in the round included Novastar Ventures, one of the firm’s earliest backers. This latest funding brings the total amount raised to date to Ksh. 4 billion ($36 million).

Poa! intends to use the secured funding to grow its reach across Kenya then progressively to other countries in Africa. The company currently has a customer base of over 12,000 including homes and small businesses in Nairobi’s low and middle-income neighborhoods, and tens of thousands more through its street Wi-Fi connections. This is a strategic move by the startup which has laid out its fiber network in neighborhoods that are typically not the first target markets for its competitors including telcos.

Customers subscribed to Poa! also have unlimited data usage, an attribute that has been attractive to internet users in the country. The startup has also set up Wi-Fi hotspots in public areas, where users pay about Ksh. 20.41 (USD 0.18) for 1 GB of data, 10 times cheaper than the country’s telcos charge for a similar bundle of non-expiring internet.

In April 2019, Poa! Internet deployed over 3,000 Wi-Fi hotspots across Nairobi and Kiambu counties to ensure that its subscribers get to experience seamless home broadband and street Wi-Fi. The low-cost ISP provides free public Wi-Fi to all of its broadband subscribers whenever they connect to any of the hotspots across its network of low-income and rural communities in and around Nairobi.

The company has reiterated its commitment to making internet use affordable to users across the country. With the opportunities brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, Poa! hopes to provide internet connectivity and get more people connected in sectors such as eCommerce and eLearning.