Kenya’s Wananchi Group Raises $130million to Expand into Southern Africa


Zuku pay tvHome entertainment and pay tv operator Wananchi Group has has raised $130 million from its existing and new investors in an expansion drive across East and southern Africa.

Altice and Liberty Global participated in the round as well Helios Investment Partners, a new investor.

According to Richard Bell, Wananchi’s Vice Chairman said “The new capital investment will be used to consolidate the group’s market leadership in East Africa and to extend our services across East and Southern Africa. We will continue the deployment of fiber to the home networks in more cities in East Africa and extend our business services networks and product offerings across a wide variety of geographies and market segments. With our stronger balance sheet we will also invest in exciting new technologies and service platforms to improve the quality of our products and deliver a superior experience for our customers.”

Founded in 2008, Wananchi Group Holdings offers Pay TV services, residential fibre broadband and telephone services in Kenya and East Africa. It also offers corporate services as Simbanet, Alldean and Isat across East Africa and beyond. The raise will help it achieve its major vision in the region.

The firm in August announced it had embarked on a Ksh 220 million network upgrade to improve speeds and reduce downtime by the end of this month. The firm also said the upgrade will lay basis for the provision of speeds of up to 50Mbps for its Nairobi customers.

Last year, Wananchi Group announced plans to raise between Sh4.3 billion ($50 million) and Sh8.7 billion ($100 million) to aid in the expansion of its cable business in Tanzania and Uganda before the end of 2014.The firm had also drawn expansion plans into Malawi.

In 2011, Wananchi was able to raise Sh4.9 in growth capital from investors including Liberty Global, Oppenheimer Funds, Canada-based emerging markets fund manager Sarona Asset Management, and African private equity firm East Africa Capital Partners.

It’s major competitor and  market leader DStv has a huge war chest that the money Wananchi is rasing and DStv has alsoready launched and expanded in many of these African markets. Wananchi’s only power lays on its home and office internet services which are popular among the yuouth regionally.

Source: Techmoran 6 October 2014