Kenya-based integrated hardware and software company, BRCK has announced its plans to acquire local ISP Surf.
Erik Hersman, chief executive officer at BRCK, said the acquisition fits with the company’s plans to expand its services in Kenya to those who do not have access to the internet.
“Surf Kenya offers low cost internet services in 20 towns in Kenya. Some users do not have the ability to spend more than 15 shillings (approximately US$ 0.15) on internet bundles every week,” he said.
“The big ISPs only concentrate on about 20 to 30 percent who can afford internet, to pay for fixed internet access, leaving a whole 70 percent of the population without (a) better alternative to access the internet,” he added.
BRCK currently has 300,000 users who access internet through public vehicles, where they have stationed portable Supa BRCK. Surf has approximately 200,000 monthly users across the country.
“This will bring our users to 500,000 after the acquisition,” Hersman said.
The company is aiming to increase the number to 1 million monthly users by the end of 2019.
Following the acquisition, the combined Wi-Fi access points for BRCK will increase from the current 1,500 nodes to 2,700 nodes, making it one of the biggest public Wi-Fi zones in Sub- Saharan Africa.
BRCK runs its Moja Wi-Fi, which is a free public Wi-Fi, in public service vehicles but generates its revenue from running ads on its network.
Surf began its operations in Kenya in 2016 and in 2018 partnered with Internet Solutions and Facebook to launch Express Wi-Fi, a public network that enabled them expand nationally.
Hersman declined to mention how much the transaction is worth or when it will be closed.
Surf could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.