Wiocc Secures $30 Million Equity Investment for Expansion
The International Finance Corporation has agreed to invest $30 million (R540 million) in stock in the Pan-African telecoms and data center infrastructure company Wiocc Group.
To own an interest in the EASSy greenfield undersea cable system serving East Africa, WIOCC was established in 2008. The Group is aggressively developing fiber and data center infrastructure across the continent. It was one of the original investors in the Eassy submarine broadband cable system along Africa’s east coast.
It has developed into a regional telecom industry leader in Africa, is thought to control 20% of the continent’s connection market, and offers end-to-end global connectivity within Africa.
The IFC previously financed the Wiocc Group with a $20 million loan through its fast-track Covid-19 financing line, which was established to support economies and protect jobs during the epidemic. The investment in Wiocc builds on that financing.
According to Wiocc CEO Chris Wood, the IFC was one of the organization’s original funders in 2007. In a statement about the IFC’s most recent investment, Wood said, “This new investment supports our goal of establishing an integrated, open-access, core-to-edge cloud ecosystem throughout the African continent, underpinned by truly scalable, carrier-neutral, open-access, shared infrastructure that delivers high-quality and affordable digital connectivity.”
The announcement of EAIF’s backing for WIOCC marks the Fund’s third investment in the African telecoms market, according to Olivia Carballo, Director at EAIF’s managers, Ninety-One. “WIOCC’s expansion will stimulate enterprise and strengthen Africa’s digital infrastructure. Growing Africa’s communications infrastructure is vital to its long-term economic development and in assisting recovery from the global downturn caused by Covid-19. WIOCC can play a key role in helping Africa rebuild.”
Leasing capacity to substantial telecoms operators and long-term maintenance agreements make up the business of WIOCC. It operates a network operations center where it offers round-the-clock client service. With its primary location in Nairobi and a backup location in Johannesburg, the center.
According to the business, the increased investment will expand its client base, boost competition in the market, and put downward pressure on wholesale and retail costs.
Over the next five years, it is anticipated to support more than 200 direct jobs, and WIOCC wants to provide vocational IT training for women to further enhance gender balance in its workforce.