In times of strong demand for data center space, more capital means more growth. For data center technology company Aligned Energy, a new round of investment signals expansion ahead, including a push into new geographic markets.
Aligned said Monday that it has received a strategic investment from Macquarie Infrastructure Partners (MIP), which will provide “significant” additional capital. Aligned isn’t disclosing the financial details of the investment, but it’s large enough that the company will now be “jointly controlled” by Macquarie and existing owner BlueMountain Capital Management.
“The investment provides Aligned with enhanced financial resources to meet substantial levels of current market demand,” said Andrew Schaap, the CEO of Aligned Energy. “With MIP’s support we are well positioned to meaningfully expand in our existing markets and are also evaluating entry into new markets.”
Traction in Several Markets
The investment by Macquarie comes as Aligned shows signs of strengthening interest from major data center users. The company just announced plans for a 50 megawatt data center in Salt Lake City, and are expanding their Phoenix facility after a series of customer wins that filled much of its initial phase. Aligned also has a data center in Plano, Texas, a northern suburb of Dallas.
Macquarie clearly likes that momentum.
“As an experienced investor in communications infrastructure, we are excited to invest in Aligned to help the company substantially accelerate its growth plans,” said Karl Kuchel, the CEO of Macquarie Infrastructure Partners. “The Aligned management team has extensive experience developing and operating data centers and has built two high-quality data centers that have strong leasing momentum with flagship customers.”
Future-Proofing the Data Center
Aligned was founded in 2015 with a focus on solving capacity management challenges, pursuing innovation in cooling and the supply chain. The company’s focus on flexible design seeks to “future proof” customers from evolving trends in rack density and applications. Schaap, a veteran of Digital Realty who joined Aligned as CEO last year, believes this approach will pay dividends as a series of next-generation technologies begin to drive data center demand.
“Aligned’s value proposition uniquely positions us to benefit from the massive growth we will continue to see in this industry, driven by cloud, the Internet of Things and Big Data. The Aligned team has operated over 750 MW and developed over $3.5 billion of data centers around the globe for some of the most discerning clients. With this team of seasoned professionals, we are excited about our future partnership with MIP.”
Where might Aligned look next? When the company launched in 2015, its stated goal was to have data centers in the top six markets, including northern New Jersey, Northern Virginia, Chicago and California (in addition to Dallas and Phoenix).
But the expansion into Salt Lake City indicates that Aligned has broadened its scope of vision on data center geography. Aligned will be the first large-footprint wholesale data center provider in Salt Lake City, which is home to several huge single-tenant data centers, but has a multi-tenant data center market in Utah has consisted primarily of smaller colocation centers, with no facilities larger than 11 megawatts.