Surfline Gets $30million Foreign Investment Already
Vantage Mezzanine, Africa’s leading mezzanine debt provider, has announced it, together with a fund co-investor, has concluded a transaction with Surfline Communications to provide $30 million(R330 million) of expansion capital to the company.
The funds, which come barely three months after Surfline launched in Ghana, will be used for the on-going expansion of Surfline’s 4G LTE network in Ghana as well as to grow its product distribution and marketing network.It is still not clear if the money is for shares acquisition (equity), a loan, or investment for long-term profit, as Surfline Ghana officials are tight-lipped on it.Surfline started Ghana’s first 4G-LTE network in August this year. It has a license and a mandate to cover 60% of all districts in Ghana in five years.
But it took off only in the capital city Accra and Tema on the back of 220 cell sites, which makes it the biggest 4G-LTE network in Africa right now. There have been suggestions that the financial muscle needed to expand across country might compel Surfline and two other licensees in that category to go for foreign partnership and or investment sooner than later. So this deal with Vantage Mezzanine in less than three months of Surfline’s operation does not come as surprise to industry watchers.By deploying the first 4G LTE mobile network in Ghana, Surfline is able to offer high-speed internet connectivity (up to 10 times faster than the average speeds offered by the existing mobile network operators) at rates that are competitive with existing internet service providers.
Because the Surfline network does not rely on the limited fixed line telecommunications infrastructure in Ghana, the company is able to rapidly roll-out its services across its coverage area.Surfline was established to provide wireless broadband and related services to the Ghanaian market, including meeting the emergent and largely unfulfilled data needs of Ghana’s businesses, government agencies, professional and academic communities and residential users. The network achieved a very successful commercial launch in August 2014 and is experiencing tremendous growth in its customer base, in both the consumer and corporate/enterprise segments.
Indeed, in less than three months of operation, Surfline is already experiencing shortage in devices as consumers grow in lips and bounds.Nomination for Award Just two weeks ago, Surfline was shortlisted for the award of “Breakthrough LTE Development” category by the Africa Communications Awards for its successful deployment of Ghana’s first 4G LTE network. John Taylor, Surfline’s Executive Chairman, has also been listed in the 2014 World Finance 100, which celebrates 100 individuals who have reached the pinnacle of achievement in their field of expertise.
John Taylor said, “Vantage provided us with growth capital in a shareholder-friendly structure that we required to expand the business by supplementing the existing financing in place.”Yaw Keteku, Associate Partner at Vantage, leading their investment activities in Ghana, said “Under John Taylor’s visionary leadership, Surfline has assembled a team of highly-skilled professionals and technical partners who have built a first class communication network to meet Ghana’s ever-growing data demand. We have developed a close working relationship with the Surfline team and we look forward to supporting the business as it grows.”