Powering up the charts: Digital infra’s growing share of capital

With sector-specific fundraising on the rise and more funds adding telecoms to their remit, digital has carved out a considerable place for itself in the market.

Fundraising for digital infrastructure vehicles can be split into two buckets: capital raised by infrastructure funds that include telecoms and other digital investments in their remit, and funds raised by specialist vehicles focused exclusively on digital infrastructure.

Data from Infrastructure Investor reveals a clear growth trajectory for both camps when it comes to digital’s share of the overall fundraising pot. Sector-specific figures show that digital accounted for 31 percent of total asset class fundraising in 2021 – the highest share on record. DigitalBridge Partners II, which closed on $8.3 billion in December to become the largest digital-focused fund ever raised, was responsible for almost half of sector fundraising last year ($16.9 billion).

2021 was also a record in the wider category that includes all infrastructure funds with digital in their remit: a total of $64.6 billion was secured through 27 fund closures. Together, these funds represented 45 percent of capital raised in the entire infrastructure asset class last year.

In the first quarter of 2022, two digital-exclusive funds reached a final close, raising $1.95 billion between them. This puts the year on track to match the pace of 2021 excepting DigitalBridge’s anomalous close for its behemoth second fund.

Expanding the pool to include all funds with digital in their mandate, a significant $47.6 billion was secured in Q1 this year, which is more than was raised in the whole of pandemic-hit 2020 ($43 billion).

These figures do not even paint the whole picture: given that a large portion of investment in data centres also originates from real estate funds, there is likely to be billions more in capital fuelling our digital future.