Tuesday 17 July 2018

Ganley raises $50m for roll out of 'game-changing' tech in US

Facebook investor Peter Thiel backs Rivada plan with projected $30bn revenues, writes Business Editor Nick Webb

Declan Ganley
Declan Ganley
Nick Webb

Nick Webb

Declan Ganley's broadband technology group Rivada has just raised $50m (€44m) from a group of institutions and high-net-worth players, including the legendary Silicon Valley investor Peter Thiel, who made billions backing Paypal, Facebook and Stripe. Rivada had a pre-funding valuation of $650m (€572m).

Ganley holds slightly less than 50pc of Rivada's shares.

Rivada declined to comment on the identity of its new investors but the Sunday Independent has learned that Thiel - possibly the most high-profile tech investor in Silicon Valley - was part of the funding round.

Rivada has developed 'game-changing' technology, which provides customers with tiered bandwidth on wireless networks. Given the shortage of available bandwidth for companies ranging from Netflix to Google, access to broadband capacity is a hugely valuable resource.

Ganley has described Rivada as leading the way in shared spectrum and the commoditisation of bandwidth.

It is also seeking to raise up to $30bn (€26.5bn) on debt markets to roll out a new wireless network in the US as regulators seek to open up the public safety and defence broadband networks to consumers and corporate clients.

While most networks use just 60pc of their capacity, the US emergency and military networks are far less crowded - creating an enormous opportunity for new bandwidth to be released. Rivada's Dynamic Spectrum Arbitrage allows real-time access to these networks, but can also instantly move traffic away if the networks are needed by the emergency services.

Ganley's company is also looking to enter the Mexican market, which is being deregulated to reduce the impact of the market dominance of America Movil. This will open up some 90MHz of Mexican spectrum.

Regulators are also looking at opening up the Canadian market. This provides an opportunity for Rivada if it can secure finance and win tenders to build out these new networks. Rivada has already teamed up with one of the biggest non-carrier tower owners in the US and a major engineering group as it plans its assault on North and Central America.

Bandwidth is considered to be the next major resource shortage as more and more users clog up finite space with online traffic.

Company projections indicate that $30bn in revenues could be generated from a roll-out in the US and Mexico over the next seven years.

Rivada could net royalties of $6.6bn. A valuation carried out as part of the process to tap up investors suggests that Rivada could be worth as much as $5.2bn (€4.6bn).

Sunday Indo Business

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