With a $30 million strategic investment from DataBank, startup EdgePresence becomes the latest edge computing player to kick its rollout into a higher gear. The deal enables DataBank to extend its edge network beyond its network of regional data centers, while providing EdgePresence with critical growth capital to build its micro-data centers.
DataBank’s investment highlights the emergence of the business edge, as stakeholders in distributed computing step up their investment and deploying real-world edge infrastructure. This trend has gained momentum in recent months, as growing customer interest begins to validate business models and shape partnerships that will be key in realizing the ambitions vision for edge computing.
EdgePresence builds modular data centers that can store IT equipment at the base of cell towers, enterprise campuses, or commercial real estate. These edge data centers will enable DataBank to colocate its customer workloads at the “far edge” to further reduce latency and improve application performance.
“EdgePresence has been establishing an important beachhead at the ‘far edge’ since 2018,” said Doug Recker, the founder, and president of EdgePresence. “By joining forces with DataBank, we’ll act as a force multiplier for their edge data center strategy, helping to bring data centers closer to the data pools being created by users, enabling next-generation, data-localization strategies and applications for 5G and IoT.”
The company’s modular data centers support up to 100 kW of power capacity, and are about 30 feet long and 12 feet wide. The units come with UPS and generator power support, security access control (including a “man trap” and security cameras). Initially known as Modular Life Solutions, the company says it is deploying its edge data centers into 20 markets. The company’s ambition is to deploy and operate “hundreds of micro edge data centers across the United States.
One of the companies it has worked with is Vertical Bridge, a large operator of communications towers across the U.S. Both Vertical Bridge and DataBank are part of the Digital Colony/Colony Capital universe of digital infrastructure companies. The companies said the combination of Vertical Bridge, DataBank, and EdgePresence assets will accelerate the deployment of novel infrastructure solutions for cloud, content, and technology customers.
“With the continued expansion of 5G and internet infrastructure, we are seeing the need for geographic-specific colocation solutions,” said Raul Martynek, CEO of DataBank. “EdgePresence’s modular installations will allow DataBank to deploy these targeted solutions for specific applications and use cases where traditional data center options are not optimal. The combination of DataBank’s expanded footprint with zColo facilities and EdgePresence modular solutions will allow us to offer customers almost unlimited geographic flexibility for their IT infrastructure.”
The companies did not disclose the details of DataBank’s equity position, but said EdgePresence will continue to be run by Recker and his existing team, and collaborate with DataBank’s leadership team to expand its modular data center solutions.
The deal comes just weeks after DataBank agreed to acquire zColo, the colocation business of Zayo Group Holdings. The deal dramatically expands DataBank’s data center network, adding 44 data centers across 23 markets in the U.S. and Europe, and creating one of the largest privately-held data center operators in the U.S.