Building hyperscale data centers has become a global game, with many developers expanding their activity to new continents. Much of that expansion has seen U.S.-based developers building new projects in Europe, a strategy pursued by Vantage Data Centers, Digital Realty, Equinix, CyrusOne, CloudHQ and Iron Mountain, just to name a few.
Yondr Group has flipped the script. The developer has focused primarily on Europe, and is now launching an expansion into the Americas, with plans to add $2 billion of new data center projects in the U.S., Canada and Latin America.
Yondr may not yet be a familiar name in the U.S., having been spun out of global construction company ISG (and parent company Cathexis) in 2019. But it brings serious development, with a leadership team packed with veterans from Google and Equinix in addition to ISG.
“The Americas represent a significant opportunity for Yondr Group,” said Dave Newitt, CEO and co-founder of Yondr Group. “Already, the USA’s data center capacity alone is more than twice that of Europe. And it’s continuing to grow, with a predicted 11GW of capacity in place by 2025.”
Tapping Google’s Deep Talent Base
Nevitt is among the veterans of ISG, which has been an active player in the global data center construction market. But the Yondr leadership also includes veterans of Google’s data center team, including co-founder and Chief Development Officer Peter Jones, and Tricia Arneson, Chief Diversity Officer and Head of Business operations. The most recent Google alum joining Yondr is Éanna Murphy, the company’s Senior Vice President of Operations for the Americas. Murphy will lead the investment, development and management of digital infrastructure assets across the Americas.
“With Éanna’s market leadership and Yondr Group’s unrivalled ability to build cost-effective, secure and scalable data centers, faster than anyone else, we’re bringing greater flexibility and sustainability to our clients in the Americas,” said Newitt.
Speed and sustainability are the leading components in Yondr’s expansion into the Americas. The company’s principals have built more than 500 megawatts of data center capacity since 2011, including 9 million square feet Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium.
The ISG legacy brings a focus on modern methods of construction, which typically includes the use of pre-fabrication and offsite factories to create components, which can accelerate the work schedule on a construction site. The Google alums bring experience with renewable energy, an area where Google has been a pioneer in the data center industry. Yondr Group says all its global data centers will be carbon neutral at the point of handover to its clients.
Building a Diverse Workforce
The company is also focused on diversity and inclusion, and has committed to gender parity in its expanding operations.
“As part of its Americas expansion plans, Yondr Group is additionally committed to make a concerted effort to address the shrinking talent pool that exists in the data center industry by widening the recruitment net through cross-skilling,” the company said. “This approach will allow Yondr Group to equip the new generation of data center talent with the right skillset to meet the growing requirements of operating and maintaining massive digital infrastructures.”
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In its expansion announcement, Yondr noted a Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) report found that the data center construction pipeline reached near-record levels in 2020, with over 611.3MW under construction in the United States. Hyperscale development in the U.S. is extremely competitive at the moment, but Yondr principals note its experience in crowded and competitive European venues like Amsterdam and Frankfurt.
Yondr says its Americas expansion is part of “a global scaling strategy that will see Yondr Group delivering data centers across five continents by 2024.” While it hasn’t announced plans beyond Europe and the Americas, it is seeking to hire data center professionals for positions focused on the Asia-Pacific market.