Digital Edge, Threadborne Group eye second data center

By Justine Irish D. Tabile | BusinessWorld
February 28, 2023


SINGAPORE-based Digital Edge Holdings Pte. Ltd. and the Philippines’ Threadborne Group are looking to build a bigger data center locally after they tied up to open a 10-megawatt data center in Laguna.

The two companies’ first project, NARRA1, is under a joint venture called Digital Edge Philippines, Inc. between the Rufino family’s Threadborne Group and Digital Edge.

This first venture of the Singapore data center company in the Philippines will begin its operations on March 1, with some of its racks pre-booked by service providers and enterprises.

“We are opening on March 1st. We are already pre-booked; we have booked several clients. We cannot announce the names, the utilization, but we have a pretty big pipeline,” Digital Edge Country Manager for the Philippines Victor F. Barrios said on the sidelines of a media tour.

“Our goal is to have at least more than 20 carriers in our facility to offer connectivity solutions,” Mr. Barrios said.

The two companies raised $100 million in capital for the project, which will probably be used up in 2023, according to Threadborne Principal for Real Estate Raymond D. Rufino.

“I think we will be close to using up all of that within the year,” Mr. Rufino said.

NARRA1 offers 2,200 cabinets and will become the largest regional carrier-neutral data center in operation in the country.

The data center, which will have 5,200 square meters of collocation space, is located inside Laguna Technopark in Biñan, Laguna.

Meanwhile, the joint venture is looking to build a bigger data center in the Philippines for which funds are needed to be raised, Mr. Rufino said.

“I am hoping within the year we can secure a financing partner because the next data center will be heavy on capital. We really would like to get some financing in place so we could do the next one,” he said.

“We are open for an initial public offering (IPO) in the future if that is a good option for us. Our partners are very open to everything. We can do a REIT (real estate investment trust) or an IPO, we have to see,” he added.

The company is set to start the planning for the second data center once it fills up NARRA1 with customers.

“We have to fill this [data center] up with customers, start generating well and once we have that then we will start the construction or planning about that,” Digital Edge Chief Product Officer Jonathan Chou.

“We have some rough ideas on how big it will be but it will be bigger than this one,” Mr. Chou said.

When asked where the second data center will be, Mr. Rufino said the group has yet to decide where to build it.

“We are still internally debating that because with location, you have a lot of options. We are evaluating multiple sites,” he said. — Justine Irish D. Tabile