Gigaclear Secures Funding To Connect Rural Britain

Gigaclear has secured £111m in additional equity funding to build new full fibre networks in rural Britain. This will enable a significant acceleration in the build rate of these ultrafast Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) networks across multiple counties, reaching and connecting hundreds of thousands of people. The funding has been raised from existing shareholders and one new institutional investor.

In recent months, Gigaclear has won significant tenders to deliver its broadband network to hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses across Devon, Somerset, Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Northamptonshire through the Government-backed Broadband Delivery UK (BDUK) programme. This new investment will fund the first stage of these new networks, along with other commercial network build projects.

Existing shareholders Infracapital and Woodford Investment Management have committed to investing an additional £60m and £15m respectively with other shareholders contributing a further £1m. RPMI Railpen (Railpen), the investment manager for the Railways Pension Scheme, is the new institutional investor, putting £35m to work in the company.

Matthew Hare, Chief Executive, Gigaclear, said, “Full fibre is the future. This latest round of investment will enable Gigaclear to step up our speed of network delivery and is a clear signal of the confidence investors have in our continued expansion and success.

“Millions of rural homes and businesses across the country need better broadband and we want to reach as many of those in rural areas as quickly as possible. Our pure fibre network transforms lives by providing access to the fastest internet speeds to be found anywhere in the world and technologically future-proofing these rural communities for years to come.”

Ed Clarke, Co-Founder and Director, Infracapital, commented “Infracapital is delighted to continue to support Gigaclear as it develops its full fibre network in the UK’s rural communities. Gigaclear has made significant progress since we made our original investment in 2015 and we are proud to be supporting the team as they roll out this essential infrastructure in underserved areas of the country.”

Paul Bishop, Investment Director, Railpen, said “As a long-term investor, we see the partnership with Gigaclear as a natural fit that will allow us to generate strong returns over time and fulfil our mission to pay members’ pensions securely, affordably and sustainably. We are also delighted that the company will be supporting local communities by bringing the benefits of best-in-class fibre-optic broadband to homes and businesses in new parts of the country.”

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David Dungay

Editor - Comms Business Magazine