Malaysia’s government-linked private equity fund Ekuiti Nasional Bhd (Ekuinas) has acquired a 40 per cent stake in local web hosting and cloud service provider Exabytes Capital Group for RM44 million ($10.7 million), it said in an announcement on Monday.
Ekuinas has the option to increase its stake up to 54 per cent.
Launched in 2001, Exabytes serves more than 100,000 customers in Southeast Asia and claims to be on track to becoming one of the largest players in the region for web hosting and cloud services.
“We are broadening our footprint in the services industry. True to our mandate, we are investing in and nurturing high-potential local companies that are ready to scale and compete regionally, if not globally.
“Exabytes is a prime example of a company that has the platform to be a regional leader that can position Malaysia as a hub for business and client. Through Exabytes, Ekuinas will be able to capitalise on the booming internet economy globally, which is currently valued at $3.5 trillion,” said Ekuinas CEO Syed Yasir Arafat Syed Abd Kadir.
He added that this is Ekuinas’ second investment in technology services and the firm is confident that Exabytes will continue its growth trajectory of nine per cent annually, driven by increasing internet penetration and digitalisation of businesses.
Exabyte claims to have nearly a 30 per cent share of the domestic market and will use the capital to expand across Southeast Asia. Last year, it made three acquisitions to boost its web hosting businesses.
“We will be leveraging on our brand premium, especially in Indonesia to drive customer acquisition through marketing and upselling higher value services, as well as expanding our capabilities and offerings into cloud and digital marketing to further beef up our end-to-end web solutions,” said Exabytes founder Chan Kee Siak.
This January, Ekuinas launched its fourth fund, Ekuinas Direct (Tranche IV) Fund, at RM1 billion ($240 million) with an option to increase to RM1.5 billion ($360 million). The fund will continue to invest in Malaysia-based businesses, with an emphasis on core sectors such as education, oil and gas, fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), retail and leisure, healthcare and services.
Ekuinas’ funds under management stand at about $990 million.