US hyperscaler Stack Infrastructure is expanding its digital infrastructure operations into the Asia Pacific region, starting with key cities in Japan after officially unveiling its Singapore presence in an announcement yesterday.
Launched in 2019 by private equity fund manager IPI Partners, Stack will make its initial entry into the region in Tokyo and Osaka, with plans to expand its network shortly thereafter into Singapore, Hong Kong, South Korea, Australia and other key hubs in Asia Pacific.
“The launch of Stack Asia Pacific represents an exciting milestone in the evolution of our company,” said Brian Cox, chief executive officer of Stack. “We are committed to building out international markets that are strategic to our customers, and our expansion to Asia Pacific is a natural next step in offering flexible critical infrastructure solutions that meet and support their complex and evolving requirements.
The announcement makes Stack, which has nearly 1300 megawatts of hyperscale capacity in operation or under development across 21 North American locations, the latest US player to enter Asia’s increasingly competitive digital infrastructure race.
Building an APAC Presence
With financial support from IPI, Stack intends to partner with landowners and real estate platforms to establish a pan-APAC presence, “through a combination of acquisitions and organic development,” the company said in a press release late Wednesday.
To lead that expansion, Stack has appointed Pithambar “Preet” Gona as chief executive officer for Asia Pacific, based in Singapore. Before joining the US firm, Gona was president and chief financial officer of Bridge Data Centres, a Singapore-based hyperscale and wholesale data centre provider which merged with ChinData Holdings in 2019.
“Stack has proven itself as a trusted partner to hyperscale and enterprise customers through its innovative technical solutions and commercial models. I am excited by the opportunity to leverage Stack’s tremendous success in North America, which we look to replicate in the Asia Pacific region,” Gona said.
Also joining the Stack team in Singapore is former CBRE executive director Tom Duncan, who now leads business development in the region and will oversee the company’s partnerships with developers and operators in Asia Pacific.
Mingtiandi reached out to both Stack and IPI for further details but had not received a response at the time of publication.
IPI launched Stack in January 2019 after completing the acquisition of Infomart data centres and its three operating assets in 2018. The investment firm then combined that portfolio with facilities acquired through investments in T5 Data Centres to create a 100MW US market player.
The investment fund then appointed former Infomart head Brian Cox as CEO of Stack.
IPI, or Iron Point Iconic, is an investment manager established in 2016 by partners Iron Point and Iconiq Capital to acquire, develop, lease and operate digital infrastructures.
The firm has already raised $5.25 billion equity following a $3.8 billion fund raising round in April of this year. Led by Divesh Makan, Iconiq provides wealth management services to high net worth Silicon Valley leaders, with Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Jack Dorsey and Reid Hoffman reported to be among its investors.
Just four months after its April fund raising, IPI expanded its European presence by acquiring Norwegian data centre firm DigiPlex for an undisclosed amount, after picking up Milan-based Supernap Italia in February.
Currently IPI’s data centre assets have a combined capacity of 880 megawatts, with 480 megawatts currently leased, making it among the biggest privately-held portfolios in the world.
Bridging the Pacific
Now IPI sees an opportunity to expand its services to the major Internet firms filling up hyperscale facilities by setting up Stack in APAC.
“IPI is committed to investing in Asia Pacific and to addressing our customers’ growing need for digital infrastructure around the world,” Matt A’Hearn, partner at IPI, said in the statement.
Stack’s APAC expansion announcement comes a day after the firm announced the opening of a new 32 megawatt data centre facility in Silicon Valley, after commencing operations at Manassas, Virginia location in August.
Other projects in the pipeline for Stack include a 24-megawatt data center development in Portland, Oregon aimed to open in the fourth quarter; a 125-acre (51-hectare) hyperscale campus in Prince William County, Virginia; a 400-acre facility in Alliance, Texas; and a 79-acre property in Avondale, Arizona.
Investments in data centres across Asia Pacific have surged this year in a bid to meet rising demand from mobile data usage and cloud service adoption.
US hyperscale market leader Digital Realty said in July that it had spent $66 million to acquire a site in Seoul, South Korea for its second facility in that country, with that event coming just two weeks after the REIT announced a joint venture with Brookfield to develop, own and operate data centres in India.
In June, SIngapore-based Princeton Digital Group, which is backed by US private equity firm Warburg Pincus revealed plans to invest $1 billion to develop a 97MW hyperscale facility near Tokyo, as it expands its APAC network.
Just last week, announced a partnership with Australia’s Goodman to develop and lease two server facilities measuring 60,000 square metres (645,834 square feet) in Inzai City in Tokyo.