Wireless broadband provider gets $51m funding

Daiwa, Ridgeway Capital Partners and India Knowledge Fund have invested in SOMA Networks to help expand its international operations.

SOMA Networks, a mobile WiMAX products and services provider, has received $51 million (€32 million) in funding from Daiwa Securities Group, Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments, Japanese private equity firm Ridgeway Capital Partners and India Knowledge Fund.

Daiwa Securities is one of Japan's largest securities brokerages, and Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments is the investment arm of the joint venture between Daiwa Securities and Sumito Mitsui Financial Group. They invested $16 million and $7 million in the funding round respectively, Daiwa said in a statement.

The ¥10 billion ($94 million; €59 million) India Knowledge Fund is a joint venture private equity fund established by Japanese financial services group SBI Holdings and SBI Capital Markets, the investment banking subsidiary of the State Bank of India.

The funding will be used to expand the company’s international operations and to support the setting up of a WiMAX network with Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL), an Indian state-owned telecommunications company. BSNL and SOMA plan to launch WiMAX services in the Indian states of Andhra Pradesh, Goa, Gujarat and Maharashtra, which have a combined population of about 270 million.

Toshihiko Onishi, deputy president of Daiwa Securities SMBC Principal Investments, said in a statement that the investors were encouraged by opportunities that lay ahead for SOMA, “particularly in light of the growing demand for broadband services in one of the world’s largest markets”.

Headquartered in San Francisco, SOMA has offices in Ottawa, Singapore, Toronto, and Delhi.