13 October 2022, Johannesburg – Affordable wireless internet service provider TooMuchWifi has been announced as the latest investment in the impact investing portfolio of the Mineworkers Investment Company (MIC). The strategic investment will play a major role in enabling the Cape Town-based business to achieve its ambitions of providing economic internet solutions to all South Africans.
Having recently wrapped up a successful investment campaign targeting emerging, high-growth potential businesses of SA ‒ the MIC has now invested an undisclosed amount for a 24.85% stake in the network infrastructure and communications company that was established back in 2016. This funding will be used to appoint a South African CEO and expand the local leadership team to drive expansion.
TooMuchWifi was conceptualised by Ian Thomson and Jonathan Endersby. The duo started a company that would be committed to providing affordable premium internet to underserved communities by activating local entrepreneurial energy and improving the communities served through strong social and economic commitments to the neighbourhoods they serve.
Through its proprietary technology stack and network, the business offers both hotspot data bundles and a month-to-month subscription model that provide fast internet and 99% uptime (including over loadshedding) to residential and small business customers for less, up to 20 times the value of mobile network operator data. Their data packages allow people to access the internet from only R2/gb, and data vouchers start from as little as R5.
The uncapped lines are prepaid monthly deals that range between R249 and R499 to make it easier for thousands of people to work, enhance customer service in their businesses, access study-material and stream online content. Customers have been able to realise a combined saving of between R500 million to R900 million, based on the data utilised, when converting from a mobile per gig offering to TooMuchWifi’s uncapped and hotspot offerings.
Commenting on this investment in TooMuchWifi, MIC Impact Investment Manager, Thato Ntseare says, “MIC is committed to investing in businesses that will propel South Africa forward. We are an organisation that is rooted in the country we serve, and with every investment it is important for us to ensure a positive impact. We are excited with the potential that TooMuchWifi presents to significantly expand access to affordable data to communities, and the catalytic role that can play in driving economic growth.”
Thomson said the investment will go a long way in servicing and accommodating the low-income, customer who have in the past not be able to afford technological advancements as well as digital opportunities that the 4IR has to offer.
“This partnership ushers in an exciting new era of professionalism, a clear capacity to scale, and a visible demonstration of our commitment to growth and finding deserving candidates. The new CEO can count on the support and capital resources needed to democratise internet access and associated connectivity enabled opportunities for South Africa.
This investment will not only grow our business but improve the lives of our customers and their communities. We believe everyone should have access to affordable data, and MIC is helping us make that a reality for more South Africans.”
About Mineworkers Investment Company
MIC is a leading black-owned and managed investment holding company established in 1995 by MIT to create a sustainable asset base for the benefit of mine, energy, and construction workers and their dependents. The dividends paid to the Trust fund bursary programmes for dependents of a mineworker, reskilling of retrenched mineworkers, community projects in the mineworkers’ labour sending areas and have recently been utilized to fund the establishment of an artisan training centre. MIC has a diversified portfolio of investments spanning various sectors within the South African economy. MIC’s investments include well known companies such as FirstRand, Metrofile, Primedia, Peermont, Tracker, Universal Industries and DNI Group. For more information, please visit https://mic.co.za/.
TooMuchWifi is a for-profit company creating impact by providing very affordable internet in a country where data costs in low-income communities are almost prohibitive, and by entrenching parts of its supply chain into the communities it serves. It was founded by American Ian Thomson and South African Jonathan Endersby in Cape Town in 2016. Backed by an international expert on low-cost wireless network infrastructure in the developing world, TooMuchWifi has established basic internet infrastructure within more than 35 under-served communities, servicing almost 400,000 customers and saving them more than R500 million in data costs. For more information, please visit https://toomuchwifi.co.za/ or follow @toomuchwifi.
Submitted by Purple Room Consultancy