CSquared Secures $25 Million Equity Funding for African Expansion

Csquared Secures $25 Million Equity Funding For African Expansion
Source: TechCabal

CSquared Link Holdings, a pan-African technology firm, has successfully raised $25 million in new equity funding as part of a broader $65 million investment program. According to a press release by Technext, the funds will be used to support the company’s expansion and overall growth.

Key participants in the equity investment include the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the International Development Association’s (IDA) Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility, and the Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund (CPDIF).

CSquared disclosed in the press release that Google has divested its stake in CSquared, which has been concurrently acquired by the CPDIF.

Lanre Kolade, the CEO of CSquared Group, expressed optimism about the company’s future and its pivotal role in directly addressing the digital transformation challenges facing the continent.

“CSquared has shown a successful history of creating and commercialising carrier-neutral, open-access networks throughout Africa. Our primary commitment is to transform lives through the digitalization of the region and deliver”

He said the support from investors, both existing and new, will transform the company’s ability to deliver on this ambition. This involves expanding the digital broadband infrastructure footprint in all of its current markets, which include Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, the DRC, and Togo, as well as expanding into new markets in the future.

About CSquared

CSquared was launched as a project within Google in 2011 with the ambition of building metropolitan fibre optic networks in Sub-Saharan Africa as a carrier-neutral operator of shared infrastructure. It describes itself as a technology company committed to a digitally connected Africa by making impactful investments in open-access broadband-enabling infrastructure throughout Africa.

C Squared

The company says it is bringing high-quality broadband access across Africa by investing in open-access broadband infrastructure and making it available to local Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and mobile network operators (MNOs). The long-term vision for the company is to increase Internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa and reduce Internet access costs by investing in the infrastructure necessary to drive digital transformation in the region.

In October 2017, to accelerate the scope and scale of the business, additional investors, namely Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Convergence Partners Communication Infrastructure Fund, and IFC came on board to deepen existing market penetration and expand geographically as the partners looked to commercialize the Company.

Under the guidance of its shareholders, the company has successfully established operations in six markets across the continent, namely Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Togo. In addition, CSquared’s collaboration with Google in Togo was critical to delivering the first continental landing of the Equiano cable in Africa in March 2022, significantly transforming the affordability and availability of internet access in this previously underserved market.

Convergence Partners expresses satisfaction with its investment in CSquared and the opportunity to expand it. Andile Ngcaba, Chairman and Founding Partner, emphasized that increasing their investment in CSquared aligns with the pivotal moment in African digital development. He highlighted the tangible benefits of world-class connectivity across society and the attractive investment prospects due to the combination of developmental impact and strong commercial returns.

The new investment will be utilized for network expansion as CSquared continues to drive digital infrastructure development in its operational areas and the wider African region. The company emphasizes the developmental impact of such investments as a fundamental aspect of its vision and that of its stakeholders, aiming to facilitate job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and other developmental objectives enhanced by increased internet access and the digitalization of the economy.

Sarvesh Suri, IFC’s Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure, Africa, noted that broadband connectivity is crucial for Africa’s development. He highlighted the alignment of IFC’s investment in CSquared with its regional strategy to develop digital infrastructure and promote the digital economy, which can propel development for many African countries, support economic growth, and stimulate job creation.

Source: Technet