World Bank unit invests $100m in DigitalBridge towers and data centres
The World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC) is investing US$100 million in DigitalBridge tower and data centre projects in Brazil, Indonesia and Malaysia.
The money will go to two tower projects – EdgePoint in Indonesia and Malaysia and Highline in Brazil – plus Scala, a Brazilian data centre operator.
Marcos Peigo (pictured), who co-founded Scala Data Centers in São Paulo in April 2020 as a sustainable hyperscale platform, said: “The investment from IFC provides Scala with additional resources, including its expertise and guidance, that allow us to accelerate our growth and progress in Latin American countries.”
Kevin Smithen, chief commercial and strategy officer of DigitalBridge, said: “IFC’s support will enable DigitalBridge to further our investments in emerging markets and help close the digital divide, providing fast and reliable digital infrastructure across Asia and Latin America.”
Fernando Viotti, CEO of Highline, which Digitial Bridge acquired two years ago, said: “We are pleased to receive these additional resources from IFC as we seek new opportunities to create value in a continuous and sustainable way.”
Suresh Sidhu, founder and CEO of EdgePoint, formed by DigitalBridge in July 2021, said: “Telecommunications infrastructure is vital to economic and social development, and IFC’s support will further enable our continued expansion of next-generation connectivity solutions across the [south-east Asia] region.”
IFC, which describes itself as “the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets”, says it has invested more than $1 billion in digital infrastructure between July 2020 to June 2021.
Lance Crist, global head of equity for infrastructure at IFC, said: “Strengthening the digital capacity and reach of developing countries will enable significant progress towards achieving inclusive growth, economic stability, and improved quality of life for all, including the most vulnerable.”
The IFC, based in Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington DC, said it “will also guide DigitalBridge, EdgePoint, Highline and Scala to align their environmental and social practices with IFC’s performance standards”. It added: “IFC’s expertise in digital infrastructure will be crucial in building capacity and implementing policies and procedures for the companies’ long-term sustainable growth.”
The three investments announced so far total only £75 million of the $100 million earmarked for DigitalBridge projects. The IFC said that the remaining $25 million “will be invested at a later stage” in other assets in emerging markets.
Smithen said: “Digital connectivity is a critical resource that impacts all aspects of personal and professional life, yet it is not fully accessible to many people around the world. IFC’s support will enable DigitalBridge to further our investments in emerging markets and help close the digital divide, providing fast and reliable digital infrastructure across Asia and Latin America.”
The IFC pointed out that “almost half of the world’s population remains offline, according to the International Telecommunication Union, mainly in developing countries”.