Internet service provider, Tizeti, has launched wifi call.ng—an internet voice-calling platform that allows unlimited calls to any phone number, even if that number isn’t registered on wificall’s network.
Influenced by the growing popularity of Wifi enabled voice services such as WhatsApp in Africa, the Nigerian based startup will offer the product only in Nigeria for now with plans to open it up to phone numbers outside the country by 2020.
In addition to individual users, businesses and startups would be able to use WifiCall for internal communications and can open it up to developers to customize APIs for white-label, customer applications. With the new Voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP), Tizeti will be contending with the likes of Skype, WhatsApp and major telecoms.
“On the low end we’re competing with the mobile providers. WifiCall gives you a real number and it’s cheaper. But we’re also offering enterprise options you would not get with a mobile connection or even WhatsApp,” Tizeti co-founder and CEO Kendall Ananyi
In 2018, Tizeti raised a $3 million Series A round led by 4DX Ventures and has $5.1 million in investment from firms including Golden Palm Investments, YC, and Social Investments. According to the co-founder of 4DX venture, Walter Baddo, Tizeti’s voice calling is a strategic extension of its connectivity business as it can be used with any IP. “The core of the company’s mission is to bring down the cost of connectivity on the continent by leveraging mobile internet and data networks, WifiCall is a step in that direction… Africa is going to leapfrog a lot of the traditional call infrastructure…and WiFi calling…is giving individuals, small businesses, and large businesses one-stop for much cheaper data-service alongside voice,” he explained.
The company’s core business is building solar-powered towers that offer WiFi service packages and hotspots in and around Lagos and Ogun State. Since its launch from Y Combinator’s winter 2017 batch, the company has installed over 12,000 public WiFi hotspots in Nigeria with 500,000 users. They package internet services drawing on partnerships with West African broadband provider MainOne and Facebook’s Express Wi-Fi
WifiCall is available online or for download for free under the “Basic” package. The entry-level commercial “Business Unlimited Pro” package—that offers up to 10 users, call recording, and call analytics—goes for ₦15,000.
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