CSquared is propelling the growth of its carrier-neutral, open-access broadband infrastructure through a recent infusion of equity investment from both new and existing shareholders. This funding, totaling $25 million or R467 million, includes contributions from Convergence Partners Digital Infrastructure Fund, IFC – International Finance Corporation, and the International Development Association’s (IDA) Private Sector Window Blended Finance Facility.
This initial tranche marks the beginning of a comprehensive $65 million or R1.2 billion investment program designed to fuel CSquared’s ambitious expansion and development goals. Concurrently, CPDIF has acquired the stake in CSquared previously held by Google LLC.
“The opportunity to increase our investment in CSquared via our most recently raised fund comes at a pivotal time for African digital development,” Andile Ngcaba, Chairman and Founding Partner of Convergence Partners, said.
“The benefits of world-class connectivity span all layers of society and have never been more tangible.
“As investors in the Company since 2017 we have had a front-row view of the tremendous impact of open-access networks on the development of the African ICT ecosystem.
“The combination of developmental impact, as well as strong commercial returns makes this an attractive investment for CPDIF and we are delighted to be able to shape the next phase of this journey”.
The capital injection, a testament to the company’s vision, will be utilised for network expansion as CSquared spearheads digital infrastructure initiatives across its operational footprint and the wider African region.
The developmental impact of these investments aligns with CSquared’s commitment to fostering job creation, innovation, entrepreneurship, and other developmental objectives facilitated by increased internet access and the digitalisation of economies.
CSquared, a pan-African technology company, originated as a Google project in 2011, aiming to construct metropolitan fibre optic networks in Sub-Saharan Africa as a carrier-neutral operator of shared infrastructure.
The company’s long-term vision is to boost Internet penetration and reduce access costs in Sub-Saharan Africa by investing in essential infrastructure to drive digital transformation.
In October 2017, additional investors, including Mitsui & Co., Ltd., Convergence Partners Communication Infrastructure Fund, and IFC, joined to amplify the company’s business scope and scale.
Convergence Partners is a leading private equity investment manager focused on the technology sector in sub-Saharan Africa, with a 20-year history of investing successfully in digital infrastructure in the region. With more than $600 million under management, including the recently launched CPDIF, which is focused on long term investments in data centres, fibre networks, wireless and towers, edge, artificial intelligence (AI), Internet of Thing (IoT), cloud and fintech and platforms across the Continent.
Guided by its shareholders, CSquared has successfully established operations in six African markets: Uganda, Ghana, Liberia, Kenya, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Togo.
Furthermore, CSquared’s collaboration with Google in Togo played a pivotal role in achieving the first continental landing of the Equiano cable in Africa in March 2022. This achievement significantly transformed the affordability and accessibility of internet access in the previously underserved Togolese market.
“Broadband connectivity is critical for Africa’s development. Our investment in CSquared is aligned with our regional strategy to develop digital infrastructure and promote the digital economy which can help leapfrog development for many African countries, support economic growth and stimulate job creation,” said Sarvesh Suri, IFC’s Regional Industry Director for Infrastructure, Africa.