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CIM Group Invests $355M In Startup Data Center Developer

Novva Data Centers has received $355M in growth equity investment from CIM Group as the data center developer looks to expand its footprint across the U.S. 

Novva's Colorado Springs data center campus.

CIM’s funding is intended to help Salt Lake City-based Novva, which is 2 years old, expand beyond the two data center campuses it operates in Colorado and Utah, the companies announced in a joint statement Wednesday. This is the second round of investment CIM has made in industry newcomer Novva, adding to $100M in startup funding in 2020 that helped launch the company.  

"This equity investment from CIM Group will allow Novva to continue delivering on our company vision of providing the best wholesale and multi-tenant colocation infrastructure services to clients at the lowest possible cost," Novva CEO Wes Swenson said in a statement. "We're thrilled to have a partner like CIM Group that shares the same vision of delivering a bespoke, premium data center experience to each and every client."

Novva specializes in providing build-to-suit data centers for hyperscalers and colocation services on its two campuses: a self-developed, 100-acre flagship campus with 120 megawatts of capacity in West Jordan, Utah, which opened in September; and a 40-megawatt Colorado Springs facility on 37 acres that Novva purchased in August.

Novva's data center campus in West Jordan, Utah.

The $355M from CIM will support Novva’s efforts to scale up to 1,000 megawatts of data center capacity by 2027, the announcement said. It said these plans will include new data center development in several yet-to-be-named locations. 

"CIM Group is excited to continue to invest in Novva Data Centers' growth strategy as Novva demonstrates it is among one of the most innovative data center developers and operators in the industry," CIM Group co-founder Avi Shemesh said in a written statement.

CIM’s investment in Novva is the latest deal in a growing flood of private equity dollars that are pouring into data centers, with major infrastructure and real estate funds like CIM, Blackstone and KKR increasingly looking for opportunities to deploy capital in digital infrastructure. And with record growth in demand for server space showing no signs of slowing down, operators like Novva are increasingly turning to private equity to help fund urgent development that needs to be built bigger and faster than ever before. 

“If you greenfield a site today it’s 50 to 200 acres, and the price of admission is as much as $300M just to get started,” Novva’s Swenson told Bisnow last week. “Ten years ago, you built a 2-megawatt data center and it took six years to fill it up — today it’s 50 to 100 megawatts or it isn’t worth it,  and you need a substation to get the cost of ownership down. It’s just a totally different game.”