Google to open Nairobi office for Africa venture

CSquared, a broadband infrastructure company established by Google, has set its sights on African deals after four investors including Google itself signed an agreement to invest up to $100 million (Sh10.3 billion) in the company.

The four investors are Google, pan-African ICT–focused private equity firm Convergence Partners, the International Finance Corporation (IFC), and Mitsui & Co, Japan’s second-largest trading house.

CSquared will operate as an independent company headquartered in Nairobi.

The firm already has networks in Uganda and Ghana and plans to deploy networks in more countries. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions.

“We believe that together under CSquared we can get more done to roll-out and operate affordable, high-speed, and reliable infrastructure to expand Internet access in Africa,” Marian Croak, vice-president at Google said.

“Project Link has demonstrated the impact of shared wholesale infrastructure, and we’re excited to see CSquared bring more infrastructure to more service providers and their customers.”

CSquared was established in 2011, after Google identified a major barrier “to more affordable, reliable broadband in Africa” as lack of fibre optic networks in major cities.

This led to Project Link, an initiative to build “world-class, high-speed urban fibre networks in Africa’s metropolises.”

-Source: Business Daily, Africa.