Wicrypt, a Nigerian blockchain-based Wi-Fi startup, has secured the sum of $1.5 million in a new funding round to expand across Africa. The round was led by AU21 Capital, with participation from Inclusion Capital, Outlier Ventures, Chain Capital, Pluto Digital Assets, Onega Ventures, N7 Labs, Cardano, PolkaFoundary, and Polygon Co-founder, Sandeep Nailwal.
Wicrypt was launched in 2018 but only became profitable in 2020. At the time of its launch, the startup signed an exclusive agreement to supply internet service to the inhabitants of Enugu, Nigeria. Notably, the company is the first mobile internet data-sharing platform from Africa without the need for third-party integration.
Wicrypt’s decentralized mobile internet sharing and monetisation network allows anyone to earn money by sharing their Wi-Fi with others. Users can either download the Wicrypt software and deliver Wi-Fi from their mobile device or purchase a one-of-a-kind Wicrypt Hotspot Creator device.
Wi-Fi providers can also customize their customers’ experiences using the Wicrypt dashboard, which includes surveys, ads, and data collection. Wicrypt-enabled devices are all represented by one-of-a-kind NFTs linked to the blockchain, and while users using WiFi pay Wicrypt hosts, Wicrypt also rewards hosts with its native coin, $WNT, for having high device uptime.
According to Ugochukwu Aronu, the company’s Chief Executive Officer, “Wicrypt is providing last-mile internet to people of the world who need it, while leveraging the blockchain by having hosts stake $WNT to become a part of the Wicrypt Network. This ensures overall security of the network and that host do not perform malicious actions while providing internet connections to clients.”
Sandeep Nailwal commented that Wicrypt was giving people the ability to access the internet in regions where Wi-Fi can be very expensive and unattainable for many people, and at the same time providing an avenue for people to make money. “By empowering people to share their Wi-Fi and make money, they are making this a win-win situation for all involved, particularly in remote regions where large internet companies are not incentivised to provide coverage,” he said.
The newly secured capital is expected to help the decentralised mobile internet sharing and monetisation network expand into new countries, by increasing marketing efforts.