Kenya’s Wananchi group raises $57.5mn in growth capital

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Kenya’s Wananchi Group, which runs Zuku, a triple-play service provider, has raised $57.5 million in a new funding round as growth capital from a group of international investors led by Liberty Global INC.

Wananchi group says it will use the funds to extend deployment of its Nairobi-based fibre network to other parts of the country and as well as expand its triple-play product offerings outside the Kenyan market to the larger East African marker including Uganda, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Rwanda, Burundi, Malawi and Somalia by 2015.

These was Liberty Globa’s first major investment in a cable company in Africa. Liberty Global owns cable operations across Europe and Latin America. LGI was joined by other new investors such as Oppenheimer Funds and Sarona Asset Management, a Canadian emerging markets fund manager known for its ‘impact investments’.

Existing Wananchi investors private equity firm East Africa Capital Partners (EACP) and Emerging Capital Partners (ECP), a Pan-African private equity firm also participated in the round.

According to Wananchi CEO Richard Bell: ‘Our vision is to become the leading pay-TV, broadband internet and VoIP services provider in East Africa. We welcome the support of new investors Liberty Global and Sarona as well as continued support from our existing shareholders, EACP and Emerging Capital Partners and look forward to working together to achieve our collective goal’.