European Cloud Data Center Builder Yondr Enters US With $2B to Spend

The developer is going after cloud providers with large data center needs in the top markets in the Americas.

Yevgeniy Sverdlik

May 20, 2021

3 Min Read
Data center art

Cloud companies’ relentless need for more and more data center space continues attracting money from investors eager to capitalize on the ongoing global computing infrastructure buildout.

Amsterdam-based Yondr Group, which says it has already built multiple data centers in Europe for cloud platforms – including some of the largest ones – is now hoping to do the same in the top US, Canadian, and Latin American markets, with billions in funding earmarked for its expansion across the Atlantic.

The three-year-old company has secured $2 billion in funding from private investors for multiple future data center campuses in the Americas, said Eanna Murphy, whom Yondr hired away from Google’s data center team last year to lead its business in the New World.

The developer has already identified multiple locations in the US, Canada, and Latin America, Murphy told DCK. Its focus is strictly on tier-one markets, he said.

Those would be markets like Northern Virginia, Dallas, or Silicon Valley. Competition for tenants among data center builders in these markets is fierce, with pricing so low that developers sometimes pass on deals with big customers.

Yondr expects to win in this hypercompetitive environment by offering cloud companies exactly the product they need exactly when they need it at exactly the right price point. “Our focus is on execution excellence,” Murphy said.

The developer has two standard designs for which it has established a supply chain, which allows it to guarantee delivery times for new data center capacity, he said but declined to share what those delivery times are.

“The reason we offer those specific products … is for constant schedule certainty,” Murphy said.

He declined to say where in Europe Yondr has built data centers and for which clients. The company's website lists multiple large projects in Finland, Belgium, and Netherlands, though most of them predate Yondr's formation in 2019.

The two standard designs are called HyperBloc, for large campuses, and MetroBloc, for dense urban areas. The former scales in 8MW to 12MW increments, up to 300MW total, while the latter can grow in 4MW to 6MW chunks, up to about 30MW total, Murphy explained.

The company is targeting both top-tier hyperscale cloud platforms and smaller, tier-two cloud providers that may be operating from colocation facilities but have grown to a point where they need to switch to a single-tenant data center model.

Yondr won’t start building at a site until it has secured a tenant. Customer negotiations for the first two builds in the Americas are currently at “an advanced stage,” he said.

Murphy came to Yondr late last year after nearly a decade at Google, where he managed various financial and logistical aspects of the company’s global data center operation. Several of his colleagues at Yondr are former “client-side team members,” he said.

Data center developers have in recent years sought out hires from large data center user companies to help them attract those companies as tenants. “The advantage it has provided Yondr is to provide value-add solutions that fix some of the challenges [those big clients] have,” Murphy said.

The challenges are generally matching supply with demand, timelines, and “market-entry constraints,” he explained.

While the largest cloud platforms have very advanced data center teams, they aren’t always able to deliver capacity just in time in every market where they need it. Outsourcing to specialist developers also makes it less risky for these platforms to stand up infrastructure in new markets, where they don’t have a good idea about future demand.

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