Macquarie Capital picks up majority stake in CloudExtel for $100 million

  • CloudExtel offers infrastructure services to telecom operators, internet service providers, data centers, enterprises and more.
  • India has low fiberisation and this gap is an opportunity, says Kunal BajajCEO & co-founder, CloudExtel.
  • CloudExtel has grown at a revenue CAGR of more than 84% for over 5 years with a positive EBITDA, said Ashish Streetfounder of CloudExtel.

Macquarie Capital has acquired a majority stake in Excel Telesonic India Private Limited (CloudExtel), the latter said on Friday. The principal investment arm of Australia-based Macquarie group has invested $100 million for an undisclosed stake in the company.

CloudExtel is a network as a service (NaaS) provider, which offers infrastructure services such as small cell hosting, FTTH, intra-city fiber and virtualized networks. It provides solutions to telecom operators, internet service providers, data centers, enterprises, large content providers and more.

Promoted by Bombay Gas and telecom expert Kunal Bajaj, CloudExtel, which was founded in 2014, claims to help decongest networks to deal with the surge in data utilization in a populated country like India.

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“With the rapid growth of digitalisation, better network coverage and capacity are essential to enabling people to stay connected. We are excited to leverage our global experience to support CloudExtel in expanding their telecommunications portfolio as well as enhancing the quality and effectiveness of connectivity for local communities across India,” said Ivan Varughese, senior managing director and head of infrastructure and energy capital, Asia Pacific , Macquarie Capital.

India is a fast-growing market with over a billion mobile subscribers, presenting significant scope for growth in fiber deployment and high-capacity wireless solutions. As India embraces a digitalized economy coupled with the shift towards 5G, the growth in mobile usage and demand for data capacity are accelerating the deployment of digital infrastructure, the company said.

The demand for internet data via mobile networks has increased 20-fold since 2015 in India. The country needs infrastructure to decongest networks and enhance connectivity to ensure user experience as Indians prefer digital connectivity for activities that require high broadband usage.

“Tower fiberization in India stands at 33%, versus around 70% in mature global markets. Enterprise and household fiber penetration is even lower. These gaps depict the opportunities that lie ahead for CloudExtel. Partnering with Macquarie Capital and their flexible balance sheet will help us to substantially scale our infrastructure services and imbibe global best practices, ultimately leading to superior networks for telecom operators and delighted end users,” said Bajaj, chief executive officer and co-founder, CloudExtel .

CloudExtel has laid over 4,000 kilometers of fiber across cities, and added 4,000 small cell sites across 325 cities and towns.

“It (CloudExtel) has grown at a revenue compounded annual growth rate (CAGR) of more than 84% for over 5 years with a positive EBITDA. To continue to grow at an aggressive rate, achieve the next level of scale and provide its latest offering in infrastructure sharing, a significant amount of capital would be required. We are very proud to be partnering with Macquarie Capital,” said Ashish Jalan, co-founder, CloudExtel and director, Bombay Gas Company Limited.

EBITDA refers to the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization.

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