Strategic Datasphere is the newest entrant in the data center industry, arriving with $500 million in backing from a large investment firm and plans to deploy $1.5 billion in data center investments in the United States and Europe.
The new company is sponsored by Strategic Capital Fund Management, an alternative asset manager focused on digital infrastructure, and backed by an unnamed global institutional investor. Datasphere will be led by Bryan Marsh, a veteran executive at Digital Realty with lengthy experience in private equity and commercial real estate.
Datasphere is the newest in a series of new data center platforms launched by fabled global investors including Goldman Sachs, KKR and GI Partners, as well as infrastructure funds and sovereign wealth funds. The surge in investment reflects the rise of a global economy powered by digital infrastructure, a trend that has been accelerated by the pandemic-driven shift to Internet delivery platforms to support online learning, entertainment, and distributed work.
“Data centers are a critical component of the broader digital infrastructure ecosystem that is supporting an accelerated demand for online and mobile platforms for consumers and businesses alike,” said Jim Condon, Managing Partner at Strategic Capital. “These real estate assets have proven their resiliency as essential infrastructure throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and we believe next-generation technologies like 5G, autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence and more will create long-term sustainable growth in the sector.”
Datasphere is one of two funds being organized by Strategic Capital, with the other focused on wireless infrastructure. The company plans to take a broad approach to data center investment that spans a number of strategies, property types and business models. Datasphere says it will be “focused on the acquisition, development and management of fully and partially stabilized data center facilities, including through sale-leaseback transactions with leading technology, communications, cloud, enterprise and public sector tenants.”
Datasphere says it has received initial commitments of up to $500 million of equity capital from its U.S. based investment partner, which is expected to support more than $1.5 billion of data center investments, and may be supplemented with additional equity commitments over time. Strategic Capital works with SC Distributors to source funds from financial advisors and investors.
Marsh previously served as Vice President and Portfolio Manager at Digital Realty, and heads a management team with more than 65 years of data center real estate experience across the full lifecycle of acquisitions, developments, leasing, operations and divestitures. Chief Investment Officer Christopher Flynn
“We are ecstatic to embark on our mission at Datasphere to serve as long-term stewards for the data center assets we acquire and develop, for the tenant customer relationships that reside within the facilities, for the employees that build and manage these assets, and for the environment through sustainable and renewable practices,” said Marsh in a press announcement.