UK's Hyperoptic secures £50 million investment

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Hyperoptic, the UK’s leading provider of fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband technology, today announced that it has received an equity investment commitment of £50 million led by Quantum Strategic Partners Ltd (Quantum). Quantum is a private investment vehicle focused upon long duration investments and managed by Soros Fund Management LLC exclusively for the benefit of Mr. George Soros and Soros family clients.

The new funding will enable Hyperoptic to meet its ambitious plans to reach more than 500,000 homes with its market-leading 1 Gbps true fibre hyperfast broadband within the next five years.

In September 2011, Hyperoptic was the first to deliver a 1 Gbps symmetrical residential broadband service in the UK, 83 times faster than the current national average, and recently announced that it had surpassed 20,000 homes in London. The company now aims to bring its ground-breaking FTTH technology to as many as ten additional UK cities by the end of the year, with locations for these ‘hypercities’ to be prioritised based on consumer demand.

In addition, the company will soon be expanding to provide hyperfast broadband to business and commercial premises, as well as developing new products such as IPTV and cloud computing offerings for its consumer customers.

Hyperoptic was founded in 2010 by entrepreneurs Boris Ivanovic and Dana Tobak, who also successfully established a number of other pioneering and highly successful ISPs including Be (now part of BSkyB) in the UK and Bostream in Sweden.

As part of the investment, three additional non-executive directors are set to join Hyperoptic’s board to oversee the company’s rapid expansion. They include Bruno Ducharme, chairman of TIW Capital Partners and founder of European mobile operator TIW, along with Waldemar Szlezak and Joshua Ho-Walker of Soros Fund Management LLC.

Tackling the UK’s broadband deficit

Hyperoptic’s true superfast broadband technology differs from the services currently offered by most other leading UK internet service providers in that it provides unimpeded fibre speeds directly to the premises. Other so-called ‘superfast fibre’ services are generally hybrids, relying on existing infrastructure and dated copper cables to make up at least part of the line, resulting in drastically reduced internet speeds and unpredictable performance.

The UK currently lags behind other international markets when it comes to the availability of true hyperfast broadband, with FTTH technology available in less than 1 per cent of homes. In contrast, Japan boasts over 50 per cent penetration and the US around 10 per cent, according to FTTH Council Europe. With an aggressive expansion and development plan fuelled by this new investment, Hyperoptic is now primed to play a significant role in closing this gap.

Boris Ivanovic, chairman and co-founder of Hyperoptic, commented:
“Today’s investment is a resounding vote of confidence in both our business model and the bright prospects for FTTH technology in the UK. As momentum continues to build for ‘smart cities’ and an increasingly technology-fuelled economy and society, the need to future proof our infrastructure has become absolutely critical and Hyperoptic will play a key role in doing just that.”

Bruno Ducharme, new non-executive director of Hyperoptic, said:
“In Hyperoptic, I see an exceptional team of entrepreneurs in the ISP marketplace, a proven business model to deliver cutting-edge broadband technology, and a big opportunity to meet the growing appetite for superfast broadband. I am pleased to play a part in supporting their rapid growth trajectory through this long-term infrastructure investment.”

Louis Armstrong, non-executive director of Hyperoptic and former chief executive of the RICS, added:
“Hyperoptic is clearly paving the way for the UK to take a significant leap forward when it comes to superfast broadband. The UK’s major property developers, managers, investors and owners alike are awakening to this reality, and will soon begin to realise the significant benefits – including increased value and marketability of a property – of ‘future proofing’ their assets, taking smart decisions today about what will be absolutely critical for tomorrow.”