Gaw Capital establishes JV for data center projects

Gaw Capital establishes JV for data center projects
Data center campus in Nongsa Digital Park Image: Courtesy of Gaw Capital Partners

Real estate private equity firm Gaw Capital Partners has established a new joint venture operating company, Data Center First Pte Ltd., with Wong Ka Vin as the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer.

Data Center First, headquartered in Singapore, is a data center operator and the first platform investment made by Gaw Capital Partners to support its IDC investments in Asia outside of China.

Wong Ka Vin is an industry veteran with a track record in building successful data center platforms and professional teams like i-STT in 1999, followed by Equinix Asia Pacific in 2002, CSF Group Asia which became ChinData in 2011, and finally returning to Singapore to lead and re-brand 1-Net by building 1-Net North, Southeast Asia’s first Uptime Certified Tier III design and constructed 30MVA facility in Woodlands, Singapore in 2013. 

The platform’s maiden project is a data center campus at Nongsa Digital Park in Batam, Indonesia.

In addition to this maiden project in Batam, Indonesia, Data Center First will also work with Gaw Capital Partners to originate, evaluate and develop data center projects in Southeast Asia and beyond, said Gaw Capital.

“I am excited to be working with Ka Vin and his team of professionals in creating this data center operating platform. It signals a key milestone in Gaw Capital Partners’ growth in the data center industry, an industry that enables digital transformation opportunities for organizations globally to continue to grow. We plan to grow our regional data center platform rapidly through a combination of multiple asset and platform acquisitions and our partnership with Data Center First is the first step in the execution of this strategy,” said Kenneth Gaw, President & Managing Principal of Gaw Capital Partners.

Gaw Capital Partners sees the IDC development as part of the bigger story that will encompass the broader and larger global opportunities that the digital economy brings.

”There is an ever-growing amount of data traffic that is driving demand for data centers to consolidate servers, store data and manage network support, thanks to technological advancements in 5G communications, 4K transmission, the Internet of Things (IoT) and artificial intelligence,” said the company in a press release. 

Wong Ka Vin, Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of Data Center First, said, “The next generation data center operators will need a deep understanding on how to exploit M&E and IT technologies in combination to create a more effective and valuable service experience for our customers. Data Center First will keep pace with the latest trend and provide industry-leading experience in the market for our clients.” 

IDC is a focus sector for Gaw Capital Partners. In September 2020, the company closed fundraising for its first internet data center (IDC) platform, which has invested in a portfolio of projects in partnership with IDC developers and operators in China, bringing the total equity raised of approximately US$1.3 billion, to build “green, efficient, innovative and recyclable” data center clusters.