Verne Global, a U.K.-based data center firm with locations in Iceland, announced on Monday that it has raised $98 million in equity funding.
Verne’s Icelandic data center campus is used by some of the largest names in business, including BMW and Datapipe. The funding will be used to expand its wholesale and co-location services.
“In order to succeed in a data-driven economy, power capacity, reliability of the power grid and low-cost power are imperatives for delivery,” Jeff Monroe, CEO of Verne Global, said in a statement. “All of these factors point to Iceland as the logical choice for computing.”
Stefnir, an Icelandic firm, led the funding round, with previous investors Wellcome Trust, Novator Partners and General Catalyst also participating.
Iceland has been slowly building its reputation as a data-center destination for years. The island is rich in geothermal power, and its northern location offers the chance to use cold air and cold water to do much of the chilling required for data centers.
Verne Global is leading the charge for Icelandic data centers. The company takes advantage of both the cold air and water, as well as a combination of hydropower and geothermal to power its data centers, offering its customers the opportunity to boast of using 100 percent renewable power for their data storage needs. Customers can also sign up for twenty-year purchase agreements, making the cost of clean energy even lower.
Iceland has one of Europe’s most reliable grids, with a power quality rating of 6.9 out of 7, as ranked by the World Economic Forum.
The island nation is not the only one staking a claim as one of the most efficient places for data centers to set up shop. Scandinavian countries are also destinations for European data centers because of their cool climates.
At one data center in Finland, excess heat is used to warm homes in the area. Facebook opened its first data center outside the U.S. in 2013 in Sweden, where its servers are powered by 100 percent hydropower.
For data centers that can offer low- or no-carbon options to data-hungry companies, the opportunities are seemingly boundless. Cisco forecasts that annual global IP traffic will triple in the next five years, and pass the zettabyte threshold by the end of 2016.
While cool air and water and hydropower are pulling data centers north in Europe, steady winds are drawing major internet companies inland in the U.S. In 2013, Facebook chose Iowa for its $300 million data center, in part because of access to wind power.
While the largest and most visible companies are aggressively investing in efficient data centers, a survey out last year shows that in North America, at least, there is still a long way to go.