SMEs and Ventures

Interview with Kendall Ananyi, Founder and CEO, Tizeti, Nigeria

Kendall Ananyi is a Nigerian entrepreneur, founder/CEO of ISP company, Tizeti, which recently secured a $3m series A funding.

Africa Business Communities interviews Kendall:

Could you introduce your company?

Tizeti is an ISP which operates in Nigeria. However, our customer-facing brand was relaunched 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. Currently we installed over 7,000 public Wifi hotspots within Nigeria and have 150,000 customers.

Where is Tizeti located?

We provide service in Lagos Nigeria and the parent company is in Oakland, California.

When was it founded and by who?

Tizeti started as an idea in 2012 and launched publicly as  in 2014. It was founder by myself and my co-founder Ifeanyi Okonkwo, who serves as Chief Operating Officer.

How is the company funded and who are your clients?

We initially bootstrapped and then got accepted into Y Combinator and raised a seed fund and have just also recently raised Series A.

Tizeti provides residences, businesses, events and conferences with unlimited high speed broadband internet access.

What are Tizeti’s Unique Selling Points?

We are unique in that we provide unlimited Wifi that is cost effective, using solar power. We operate our own towers through our solar-panelled network across Lagos. The towers themselves are powered by solar modules instead of electricity from the grid or an on-site generator. This enables us to significantly reduce operating costs which allows us to be hyper-competitive when it comes to subscription packages for customers.

How has the market responded to Tizeti’s services?

They love the fact that we provide wifi that is unlimited and affordable. Its 30 – 50% cheaper than capped mobile data plans and it has propelled us to the top of Google search for “Unlimited Internet in Nigeria”.

What are the ambitions of the company?

As the one of the leading ISPs in Nigeria, we have plans to expand into other English-speaking West African countries, starting with Ghana later this year.

What is the latest that has happened in the company?

We have just closed a Series A round of $3M, led by 4DX Ventures with participation from existing investors Y Combinator Continuity, Lynett Capital, Social Capital, Western Technology Investment, Friále and Golden Palm Investments. As part of this round, Walter Baddoo, Co-Founder & Managing Partner of 4DX Ventures will join Tizeti’s Board of Directors.

This investment will be used to expand operations outside of Nigeria, with the launch a new consumer-facing brand Wifi.Africa later this year, and as mentioned earlier, starting with Ghana.

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