CDC, the UK’s development finance institution, has today announced a $40 million (R652 million) equity investment in Liquid Telecom, Africa’s largest independent fibre, data centre and cloud technology provider.
This marks CDC’s second investment in the company, following a $180 million equity investment in 2018. CDC’s additional investment is made as part of Liquid Telecom’s wider fundraise where the company attracted $307 million through a rights issue to shareholders.
CDC’s investment will enable Liquid Telecom to further expand its pan-African data centre operation business, Africa Data Centres, and consolidate its position as the leading data centre operator on the continent.
“CDC’s additional equity investment into Liquid Telecom represents another crucial step in connecting businesses in Africa, with Liquid Telecom at the forefront of the continent’s eruption in technology adoption,” Nic Rudnick, CEO of Liquid Telecom, said.
“Africa has significant untapped economic potential that is being unlocked by improving connectivity, data storage and the use of cloud-based applications. This investment will bring significant economic benefits to developing markets across the continent.”
Liquid Telecom has built Africa’s largest independent fibre network, stretching more than 70,000km, and operates state-of-the-art data centres in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Nairobi, with a combined potential 19,000 square metres of rack space and 78 MW of power. This is in addition to offering leading cloud-based services, such as Microsoft Office365 and Microsoft Azure across our fibre footprint. Through this combined offering Liquid Telecom is enhancing customers’ experience on their digital journey.
Africa Data Centres is well-positioned to service the increasing demand for data storage and cloud-based applications across the continent. Currently, it is estimated that less than 20% of potential telecommunications enterprise demand is being served in Africa, with London having three times more cloud computing power available than the entire continent.
Liquid Telecom’s development of data centres will boost economic activity by reducing IT-related costs for companies. Increased local capacity will also spur innovation by offering affordable data storage and Software-as-a-Service (Saas) applications to SMEs. Additionally, the company’s cloud-based services will also help accelerate the growth of Africa’s tech start-up ecosystems whilst also supporting the needs of established enterprises across the continent.
This investment will contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth) and 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
“We remain committed to improving digital infrastructure in Africa and helping the continent’s governments, businesses and people gain access to quality online services. Our aggregate investment to Liquid Telecom now stands at US$220 million, this will play an important role in addressing the increasing demand for digital services and help close the digital divide between Africa and other regions,” said Nick O’Donohoe, CDC’s Chief Executive.
“Investing in Africa’s digital infrastructure is vital for building resilience within African economies and accelerating their growth.”