WIOCC raises $200 million to expand network connectivity

WIOCC raises $200 million to expand network connectivity

24 November 2021 | Natalie Bannerman

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WIOCC has completed a $200 million debt and equity capital raise to expand its connectivity across Africa and internationally.

Through Open Access Data Centres (OADC) - a newly created WIOCC Group company – the company will launch a network of pan-African data centres to serve the needs of the cloud providers as well as the wholesale community.

First-phase locations will house key subsea cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu. Each will provide clients with bespoke colocation facilities and connectivity directly into new international subsea systems, eliminating the costs and risks traditionally associated with terrestrial backhauling.

Construction and fit-out is underway in Lagos and Durban, with both due to launch in early in 2022, whilst the Mogadishu data centre will be ready before the end of 2022. Future deployments will deliver more than 20 new data centres in strategic locations across the continent, focusing on the major connectivity hubs in each country. 

“We are excited to conclude this stage of our capital raise, which will enable a very significant expansion of our hyperscale infrastructure through investment in new high-capacity subsea systems and terrestrial network," said Chris Wood (pictured), CEO of WIOCC.

"The creation of a new Group company – Open Access Data Centres – offering a transformational data centre proposition to the market will underpin and accelerate the evolution of cloud ecosystems in Africa, delivering the low-latency, high-performance capabilities increasingly demanded in Africa’s markets. The inward investment and partnership with ACA will help us in enabling businesses and consumers in Africa to benefit from the digital economy and migration to cloud-based services. ACA’s track record and partnership mentality will be a welcome addition to WIOCC, and we very much look forward to working with them for long-term sustainable growth.”

In addition, investments in the new Equiano and 2Africa international subsea cable systems will augment and complement WIOCC’s existing core network infrastructure. At the same time, WIOCC’s terrestrial strategy will be extended to include new countries and metropolitan areas.

WIOCC raised the equity capital from CAPE IV, a fund managed by African Capital Alliance (ACA). ACA says it was attracted to the investment due to the clear vision to develop high quality and synergistic assets and solutions to support its long-term client partnerships.

“WIOCC is a fast-growing wholesale capacity provider in Africa that has positive market fundamentals given the rate at which internet penetration is growing and the desire for more OTT services," said Paul Kokoricha, partner at ACA.

"Our partnership with them will deliver their vision of being Africa’s leading carriers’ carrier, setting the standard by which performance is measured in the industry, through the delivery of robust and creative solutions for each client, with exceptional support, leading to successful long-term partnerships. We are impressed with the management team, and we are confident our partnership will deliver for all stakeholders.

WIOCC’s debt facility was provided by the International Finance Corporation, Proparco and Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund managed by Ninety One. Verdant Capital acted as financial advisor to WIOCC for the equity capital raise.