Metrobloks Raises $5.2M for Its Urban Data Centers with Low-Latency AI

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DateJun 28, 2024

Metrobloks, a US-based data center infrastructure startup, has emerged from stealth mode with the announcement of an oversubscribed $5.2 million seed funding round. The round was led by Current Equity Partners with the backing of Serena Capital. This capital would enable Metrobloks to develop high-performancedata centersin urban markets, addressing a crucial need for low-latency computing for AI applications.

Metrobloks aims to tackle the pressing issue of low-latency computing required for AI workloads by designing, deploying, and operating modular and scalable colocation data centers in underserved urban markets. This approach is expected to significantly enhance performance for businesses while providing urban communities with increased access to high-performance computing resources.

By providing ‘AI at the edge,’ we enable real-time processing and decision-making without reliance on cloud servers, said Ernest Popescu, CEO of Metrobloks.Ernest Popescu, CEO of Metrobloks, highlighted the importance of their mission in the context of recent advancements in AI. “Over the past year, we have seen AI capabilities firmly placed in the hands of consumers. AI will be everywhere, integrated directly into edge and endpoint devices. Metrobloks’ goal is to extend data center capacity to these devices, especially in underserved metro markets. By providing ‘AI at the edge,’ we enable real-time processing and decision-making without reliance on cloud servers. This decentralization of AI processing offers low-latency capabilities and improved reliability to enterprise customers and traditional hyperscalers, whose services are often located in congested and over-developed campuses far away from end users,” said Popescu.

The founding team of Metrobloks brings together data center experts, real estate developers, entrepreneurs, and tech innovators with extensive experience from industry giants such as AWS, Meta, and Iron Mountain. Collectively, they have enabled more than 12GW capacity across 25 countries. This wealth of experience positions Metrobloks as a leader in providing high-performance data center solutions tailored to the unique needs of AI/ML, IoT, gaming, and streaming services.

“We want to be the easy button, creating an ecosystem of data centers operating between the Internet Exchange Points (IXPs) and the Availability Regions (ARs),” added Mr. Popescu. “Our vision is to reinvent how data centers are built and operated by integrating modularity, sustainability, software, and AI to help data center infrastructure perform to its maximum potential, benefiting both providers and end-users. This gives us a significant advantage over traditional colocation data centers trying to rethink their design, layout, and equipment choices to accommodate AI workloads.”

Private Equity Investors

Metrobloks secured the right investors in Current Equity Partners, a private equity firm focused on investing in the new digital economy, and Serena Capital, one of Europe’s largest tech venture capital firms. These investors would recognize the critical role Metrobloks will play in the future of urban data infrastructure and bring valuable expertise in sustainability and innovation.

Alejandro Maldonado, Chief Strategy Officer of Metrobloks, emphasized the importance of finding the right investment partners. “One of our primary goals was finding the right investment partners that could amplify our vision for sustainable and future-proof colocation data centers in underserved urban markets around the world. As we continue to develop different sites and our programmatic investment platform grows, we will continue to focus on engaging the right equity partners,” said Maldonado.

PJ Fielding, Managing Partner at Current Equity Partners, expressed enthusiasm about their partnership with Metrobloks. “We are thrilled to partner with Ernest and the broader Metrobloks team as they address a growing crucial need in the data center market. Their deep experience and innovative approach make them well-positioned to transform how data centers operate in metropolitan areas.”

Bertrand Diard, partner at Serena Capital, commented on their involvement in the equity funding round. “We believe the data center space is ripe for significant innovation. By adding a technology layer, Metrobloks will be able to make a larger impact on this industry,” said Diard.

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