African data center company Raxio is partnering with asset and fund manager Meridiam to build a number of facilities across the African continent.

Meridiam will invest $48 million in Raxio to help it expand in regions both companies already have a foothold in.

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Raxio gains a new investor as the African data center market heats up

Screenshot_2021-03-11 Raxio Kicks Off Construction of Data Centre in Addis Ababa – Raxio Group.png
– Raxio Group

Raxio and Meridiam claim that the facilities will be sustainable, but do not give any hard targets. Raxio is "actively working" to connect to local renewable sources, the company said.

“We are delighted to welcome Meridiam as our new investment partner in our shared vision," Raxio CEO Robert Mullins said.

"This investment comes at an ideal time, as we have continued our expansion activities by investing in our third facility – in the Democratic Republic of Congo – following our first flagship facility in Uganda and launching the construction of our Ethiopian data center. It is testament to our strategy of developing an Africa-wide network of local, interconnected facilities, that provide our customers with affordable, state-of-the-art solutions for their IT infrastructure, in a neutral, 'always on' environment."

Mathieu Peller, COO Africa for Meridiam, added: "Investing in Raxio’s data center platform was a natural move for us, as it fits our purpose to delivering sustainable infrastructure that improves the quality of people’s lives. We are excited to contribute to developing Africa’s digital infrastructure, by helping to roll-out energy-efficient data centers that will drive the digital transformation of the continent and be a catalyst for highly skilled jobs creation, whilst respecting the local environment.”

Meridiam has already invested more than $4.7 billion into African infrastructure, including 4 solar power plants in Senegal, a geothermal power plant in Ethiopia, a hydropower plan in Gabon, a biomass site in Côte d'Ivoire, and solar home systems in West Africa.

African data center investment is on the rise, with Teraco considering expanding to Kenya and Nigeria, IXAfrica breaking ground on data center campus in Kenya, and Raxio itself beginning work on Ethiopian and DRC data centers. RedFox also recently broke ground on its new RFDC1 facility at the ICT Park in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

But a lot more is needed to give the whole continent the same capacity and density as its most connected country, South Africa. A recent report from The African Data Centres Association (ADCA) and Xalam Analytics claimed Africa needs 1,000MW and 700 facilities to match South Africa.