Pan-African technology company CSquared Link Holdings (Mauritius) Limited has announced a new equity investment of $25 million to accelerate the expansion of its carrier-neutral, open-access broadband infrastructure across the African continent. The investment comes from new and existing shareholders and forms the first tranche of a broader $65 million investment program aimed at financing CSquared’s ambitious growth objectives.
1. Equity Investment Details:
- CSquared has successfully raised $25 million in new equity from CPDIF, IFC (International Finance Corporation), and the International Development Association’s (IDA) Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility.
- The investment is part of a broader $65 million program to fund CSquared’s expansion and growth initiatives.
2. Shareholder Involvement:
- CPDIF simultaneously acquired the stake in CSquared held by Google LLC.
- The investment aligns with CSquared’s vision to increase Internet penetration in Sub-Saharan Africa and reduce Internet access costs by investing in essential infrastructure for digital transformation.
3. Developmental Impact and Vision:
- The investment aims to facilitate job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and other developmental objectives enhanced by increased internet access and digitalization of the economy.
- CSquared was initially launched as a project within Google in 2011 with the goal of building metropolitan fiber optic networks in Sub-Saharan Africa.
4. Previous Investors and Operational Reach:
- CSquared’s existing investors include Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Convergence Partners Communication Infrastructure Fund, and IFC.
- The company has successfully established operations in six African markets: Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Togo.
5. Digital Transformation Impact:
- CSquared’s collaboration with Google in Togo played a crucial role in delivering the first continental landing of the Equiano cable in Africa in March 2022, significantly improving internet affordability and availability in the region.
6. Future Expansion and Digital Connectivity:
- The new investment will be used for network expansion as CSquared aims to drive digital infrastructure development in its current markets and expand into new ones.
- CSquared emphasizes its commitment to changing lives through the digitalization of the region and providing #InternetForAll.
7. Investor Comments:
- CSquared Group CEO Lanre Kolade expresses enthusiasm about the company’s future and its role in addressing Africa’s digital transformation challenge.
- Convergence Partners Chairman Andile Ngcaba highlights the impact of open-access networks on the development of the African ICT ecosystem and emphasizes the attractiveness of the investment.
Conclusion: CSquared’s $25 million investment marks a significant step toward advancing digital infrastructure in Africa. With a focus on increasing internet accessibility, reducing costs, and promoting digital transformation, CSquared aims to play a pivotal role in shaping Africa’s digital future. The support from investors reflects the strategic importance of fostering inclusive and open-access broadband networks to drive economic development across the continent.