India’s Tikona Digital has completed its fund-raising for US$45 million with investors led by the International Finance Corporation with a US$25 million investment while US$20 million came from existing investors including funds managed by Goldman Sachs Asset Management, Oak Investment partners, Everstone Capital and L&T Infrastructure Finance.
The capital raised will be used to expand Tikona's broadband network in existing and new cities. "We are pleased to have IFC as an investor given their understanding of the broadband sector across the globe and long term approach to business investments. Additional capital from our existing investors is also a strong endorsement of their faith in the strength of our business” said Prakash Bajpai, CEO and managing director of Tikona.
IFC is committed to invest in infrastructure projects which aim at social and economic development in emerging economies such as India. Ruchira Shukla, South Asia lead for TMT investments at IFC, said, "A well penetrated, high-quality broadband infrastructure will provide impetus to growth in India in the areas of communication, commerce, e-governance, information, education, healthcare, and job creation. IFC's investment in Tikona will facilitate expansion of broadband infrastructure to middle income households and small and medium businesses, particularly in priority states of Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh."
Tikona has built an innovative, low cost, high capacity, broadband solution for serving the grossly underpenetrated home broadband market in India. This energy efficient, compact small cell infrastructure is already serving over 225,000 homes in the top 25 cities of India and the business model is now ready to scale to more cities. Tikona also owns 20 MHz, 4G spectrum in 2,300 MHz band in five telecom circles of Gujarat, UP-East, UP-West, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh, covering 28% of the population of India, positioning it well for 4G data services in the future.