Verne Global, a UK-headquartered company that operates a 44-acre data centre site in Iceland, has received £65 million ($98 million) in investment.

 The new funding round, announced today, will help Verne Global to expand its wholesale and colocation services, and help it develop more data centre space in the cold climates of the north.

Floor space in Verne Global's green data centre in Keflavik © Verne Global
Floor space in Verne Global's green data centre in Keflavik © Verne Global

The investment - led by Icelandic asset management and private equity firm Stefnir alongside existing investors the Wellcome Trust, Novator Partners, and General Catalyst - marks the first major round for a European tech company this year, according to Tech.EU.

At the expense of slower latency times, several companies, including Facebook and Google, have built data centres in the cold climates of the far north in a bid minimise the need for installing the expensive and dirty cooling systems, which are required to prevent stacks-upon-stacks of servers from overheating.

Any energy that Verne Global does consume at its data centre in Keflavic, Iceland, can be snapped up at a relatively low cost due to the country’s abundance of geothermal energy. The data centre is located at the United States Naval Air Station Keflavik, a former NATO facility in southwest Iceland that was closed in 2006 and taken over by the Icelandic government so it could be redeveloped.

Big names such as the BMW Group have already moved into Verne Global’s data centre and are using it to carry out a variety of computing tasks.  BMW specifically uses the data centre to support a group of high performance computing clusters that are being used to run simulations for designing new cars. 

Jeff Monroe, Verne Global’s CEO, said: “The unprecedented amount of new data created and processed by companies each day is forcing the industry to re-evaluate where that data resides.

“In order to succeed in a data driven economy, power capacity, reliability of the power grid and low-cost power are imperatives for delivery. All of these factors point to Iceland as the logical choice for computing.”

Isaac Kato, CFO of Verne Global, added: “Verne Global’s success in attracting top tier enterprise clients and raising significant capital from blue chip investors shows strong market validation for our energy-optimised data centre solutions."

Investor Arnar Ragnarsson of Stefnir said: “The team at Verne Global has successfully executed a compelling business plan that we believe will only increase in relevance as companies worldwide look to address the on-going data centre power demands.”

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