African Capital Alliance (ACA) has made an equity investment through its CAPE IV fund to round off West Indian Ocean Cable Company's (WIOCC) $200 million capital raise.
The investment by the pan-African alternative investment firm will enable WIOCC to expand and also accelerate its efforts in providing a hyperscale digital infrastructure across Africa.
Established in 2007, WIOCC is a leading player in the deployment of carrier-scale, future-proofed network infrastructure into Africa to meet the ever-growing demand for reliable, high-speed capacity throughout Africa, driven by end consumers, enterprise users and the ecosystem that supports them.
With presence in over 30 countries on the continent, WIOCC is responsible for more than 50% of capacity activated on the Eastern Africa Submarine Cable System (EASSy), a key undersea fibre-optic cable system connecting countries and consumers in Eastern and Southern Africa to the rest of the world.
With this investment, ACA will partner with WIOCC to support the management team in expanding and extending what is "Africa’s first, truly hyperscale network infrastructure", accelerating rollout of new digital infrastructure to support its wholesale clients - cloud operators, content providers, fixed and mobile telcos, ISPs and other operators - in taking advantage of the many opportunities Africa has to offer - reaching underserved communities, and providing opportunities to millions of people in those remote areas.
Paul Kokoricha, Partner, African Capital Alliance, said “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".
"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", Kokoricha added.
Established in 1997, with the belief that private sector growth can be a catalyst for African development and economic growth, ACA has since grown to be one of the most experienced alternative investment firms in Africa, with more than 51 investments across a number of high-growth sectors and industries.
The firm’s portfolio companies support over 22,000 fulltime jobs, of which 40% are women. In addition to this, ACA’s investments have created over 6,000 direct jobs in the firm’s portfolio companies.
Chris Wood, CEO of WIOCC expressed his excitement following the completion of the capital raise, stating that, "Telecommunications is a critical service that is helping to drive financial and digital inclusion across Africa, both connecting people to the financial system and digitalizing businesses. We have made significant progress over the last few years and built a solid foundation from which to grow".
Wood said that "the inward investment and partnership with ACA will help us in enabling businesses and consumers in Africa to participate in and benefit from digital economy. 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".
Part of the capital raise will be used in funding OADC, which is creating a transformational interconnected pan-African network of open-access, carrier-neutral data centres. First-phase locations will house key submarine cable landings in Lagos, Durban and Mogadishu, supporting the drive to land international submarine capacity directly into carrier-neutral data centres.
Each will provide clients with bespoke colocation facilities and ultra-reliable, seamless connectivity directly into new international subsea systems, eliminating the costs and risks traditionally associated with terrestrial backhauling.
Construction and fit-out is ongoing in Lagos and Durban, to be launched in 2022. Meanwhile the Mogadishu data centre will be ready before the end of 2022. Further phases of deployment will deliver more than 20 new data centres in strategic locations throughout the continent, focusing on major connectivity hubs in each country.