Private equity firm Astra Capital Management has acquired a majority interest in DartPoints, which offers colocation services for edge computing, the companies said this week. Astra will invest significant capital to support DartPoints’ expansion in North America.
Veteran telecommunications executive Scott Willis will join DartPoints and President and CEO, succeeding co-founder Hugh Carspecken, who will become Chief Strategy Officer.
“On behalf of the DartPoints team, I am happy to welcome Astra and Scott Willis,” said Hugh Carspecken, DartPoints Founder and Chief Strategy Officer. “Astra’s expertise, capital and global network combined with Scott’s leadership and vision will fuel our growth and help us meet the increasing need for edge colocation data centers.”
DartPoints is among a number of providers targeting the edge computing sector as the emergence of the Internet of Things, AI and autonomous cars reinforces the need for data centers in new places. Other players in this space include Vapor IO, EdgeMicro, DataBank, Compass Datacenters, Baselayer, and Switch.
DartPoints began planning a distributed network of micro data centers in 2012, making it one of the early players in the edge computing sector. After slow growth in its early years, the company’s strategy has evolved amid growing interest in low-latency edge services.
DartPoints has pursued a multi-faceted approach to the market, offering micro edge data centers to expand on-site IT infrastructure for small to medium-sized companies in office complexes, and also target carriers that will need to rapidly expand their wireless infrastructure to support 5G broadband services. The core DartPoints module supports varying levels of capacity up to 500kW of IT capacity, is optimized for operating with N+1 redundancy, and can support racks with power densities of 15 to 20kW per rack.
Astra, which has several investments in the IT and communications sector, says it intends to pursue a range of growth strategies.
“Our investment will support DartPoints’ growth through the acquisition of existing data centers and the build out of edge colocation data centers,” said Brian Kirschbaum, a Partner at Astra. “DartPoints is an innovator in the data center industry, which is undergoing significant evolutionary changes. Application performance, cost and resiliency are forcing customers toward a more distributed IT infrastructure.”
Willis most recently served as CEO of Zinwave, and has held executive roles in wireless (Ericsson, Nokia), broadband (BellSouth, Sprint) and data centers (Keybridge).
“The growth of locally consumed and generated content, the shift in use of cloud computing and the increase in application performance requirements have exposed inefficiencies in our network infrastructure,” said Willis. “DartPoints is well positioned to support the growth in edge colocation data centers across North America as digital businesses seek to move closer to their users.”