Supported by Innovate UK EDGE, DataQube Global developed and raised significant funding for its innovative, standalone podular data centre system business, enabling high-speed, high-performance and low latency processing at the edge. The fully scalable solution reduces both energy consumption and CO2 emissions by more than half. It also enables rural and remote communities to take advantage of connectivity including 5G technology.
With edge technology, data is processed at the periphery of the network, as close to the originating source as possible. This leads to faster response times and a reduction in the amount of bandwidth used.
The DataQubes are completely scalable – they can be one pod or 100 pods, depending on the need. They are portable and can be housed anywhere – inside a building, outside a building, on the side of a building, in a cark park… And the carbon footprint is significantly lower than with conventional data centres.
“Data centres are very power hungry, typically consuming a lot of electricity and energy,” says Tim Williams, commercial director at DataQube Global. “A DataQube, however, uses less energy, having no human space to cool. And it takes up less space, using less concrete, which is further reduced where we are able to use ground screws instead of concrete bases when installing them.”
Innovate UK relationship starts with grant funding
In May 2020, DataQube Global received an Innovate UK £74,244 Innovate UK grant for business-led innovation in response to global disruption. Its Thatch Connect project was to enable rural and remote communities to access high performance technology and connectivity. DataQube Global used the grant to create 3D printed fabrication to reduce time to manufacture.
In January 2021, DataQube Global and its partner Prism Power were awarded a Thatch Connect Extension grant of £349,087 under The Sustainable Innovation Fund: Round 3, which enabled the proof of concept module to be built. With that proof of concept unit, they were then able to seek external investment. “Without those grants I don’t know where we’d be now,” says Williams. “We would have struggled to get to the proof of concept.”
In January 2021, Innovate UK EDGE came on board to provide wraparound support. There were some specific areas that DataQube Global needed support with: shareholder structure, building corporate relationships, delivery of a minimum viable product to show to investors, plus building the company’s profile. Pantea Lotfian, Innovation and Growth Specialist at Innovate UK EDGE, helped DataQube Global streamline the company’s structure and organised an IP Audit..
Becoming investment ready and receiving 26M Euros in Series A funding
Williams says working with Pantea really helped the company move forward and tackle the difficult issues that needed resolving. “The sessions were so useful. Having the opportunity to verbalise what was going on, what was top of our list of things we were looking at and what we were worried about, was incredibly helpful. We talked about people, structures, opportunities, challenges, worries….the whole lot. Pantea was very good at listening, asking questions and then gently pushing you in the right direction.”
With Pantea’s support in helping to become investment ready, DataQube Global secured 26 million Euro in Series A funding from RGREEN INVEST, a French investment management company that finances green infrastructure and technology.
Williams says edge technology is really starting to take off but that DataQube Global is a few years ahead of the curve. The company is receiving a lot of interest from potential customers and suppliers and is expanding as a result. In 2020, there were just the four founders working in the business. Now there are six additional members of staff and plans to recruit another ten people before the end of the year.
The sessions were so useful...Pantea was very good at listening, asking questions and then gently pushing you in the right direction.”
Tim Williams, Commercial Director at DataQube Global