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Raxio Group: $170M Data Center Financing Tied to Sustainability, ESG Goals

April 18, 2023 by Joe Panettieri

Raxio Data Centres has lined up a US$170 million debt facility to further expand operations across Africa. The twist? The debt facility -- involving Roha Group, Meridiam, Proparco and the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund -- is tied to various sustainability and ESG (environmental, social & governance) goals.

This sustainability-linked financing package, anchored in ESG principles, "promotes energy efficiency, responsible water use practices and female empowerment; all of which align with the core values of the lenders, Raxio and its shareholders. The water and energy use efficiency of Raxio’s sites set a benchmark in Africa and Raxio is proud to see these principles reflected in its financing," the companies said.

Raxio’s current footprint across Africa spans seven countries -- including Uganda, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Angola and Tanzania. Raxio Group is a carrier-neutral Tier III data centre operator and colocation service provider. Additional services include active and dark fibre, remote IT support, caging, customer workspaces, "lift and shift" infrastructure migrations, and access to third-party capabilities such as backup, storage, disaster recovery and more.

Raxio Data Center Financing: Executive Perspectives

Robert Mullins, CEO, Raxio Data Centres

In a prepared statement about the debt facility, Raxio Data Centres CEO Robert Mullins said: “This is a momentous milestone for Raxio, and we are very excited to have found in Proparco and EAIF the ideal long term partners, with common objectives and values. This substantial additional funding package is a resounding endorsement of what we have achieved so far and the soundness of our expansion strategy, and clearly positions Raxio as a leader in delivering world-class data centre infrastructure to markets across Africa. Raxio is committed to building a digital Africa, and this financing gives us the runway we need to continue executing our strategy.”

Added Ariane Ducreux, head of energy, digital and infrastructure at Proparco: “Data centres, which concentrate data, services and a powerful aspect of service access, are the new hotspots of the digital economy. We believe digital infrastructure can contribute to the reinforcement of social ties and reducing socio-economic inequalities. This is especially true in sub-Saharan Africa where the lack of neutral and shared data centres undermines the potential of the local digital services markets. Therefore, we are proud to support Raxio’s first development phase of seven carrier-neutral data centres across Africa, together with long-standing partners like EAIF, Meridiam and Roha. With this sustainability-linked loan to Raxio, we also aim at fostering data centres with exemplary environmental sobriety and security levels.”

Noted Sumit Kanodia, investment director at Ninety One, which is EAIF’s Fund manager: “Data centres in Africa enable the growth of the continent’s digital economy and unlock innovation for digitally native communities and businesses, providing more affordable access to transformative technologies and services. Our partnership with Raxio responds to the urgent demand for affordable internet connectivity in the region and signifies a joint ambition to narrow the digital divide in several high-potential economies by filling a vital funding gap.”

Stated Brooks Washington, partner at Roha: ” We launched Raxio in 2018 because we saw the significant potential for data centres across Africa. We’re looking forward to Raxio continuing its strong momentum and we are excited to build an African data centre champion.”

Concluded Mathieu Peller, partner at Meridiam: “The need for this type of data centre in these countries is clear and Meridiam is proud to be supporting Africa’s digital buildout through Raxio and are excited for what’s to come!”, said Mathieu Peller, Partner at Meridiam.

Data Centers and Cloud Service Providers: Net Zero Goals

Admittedly, data center providers worldwide are pursing net zero and sustainable energy strategies. Cloud-scale players such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure each have made major sustainability commitments.

Regional data center providers are also making moves. For instance, Scala Data Centers of Brazil has achieved 100% Scope 3, as recommended by the GHG Protocol. And in Europe, AQ Compute and CBRE in 2022 partnered as part of a push to make AQ Compute a "pan-European leader in providing global clients with data centre services." All of the AQ Compute data centers are expected to leverage 100 % renewable energy, the companies said.

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