“Mawingu Networks” are the two words on everybody’s lips as the upstart received a major investment from the USA to connect Kenyan villages and other remote areas with solar-powered Wi-Fi-based Internet access.
The Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC), a United States’ government initiative, forked out $4m in cash and kind to Mawingu which means “cloud” in Swahili, in a deal that will see the company expand its hardware and coverage.
“This is an exciting day for the Mawingu team. The support from OPIC will really help us deliver on the potential of this opportunity to help connect millions of Kenyans to the Internet for the first time” said Mawingu Director Tim Hobbs.
Among the list of major investors already backing Mawingu Networks is Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen. Other funders include USAID, Microsoft’s 4Afrika initiative and an angel investor named Jim Forster.
The official press release can be found at OPIC’s website.