Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure invests Rs 150Cr in iBus

 iBus Networks is an in-building connectivity solutions company with an emphasis on blitzscaling, using future-ready technologies. Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure has invested Rs 150 Crores (US$ 21 Million) to obtain a stake in iBus. 

iBus offers in-building wireless solutions (“IBS”), outdoor small cells, and other last-mile connectivity solutions to mobile operators to allow them to offer services to their customers without any hassle. 

Currently, iBus deploys its infrastructure across 233 commercial, residential and retail sites all over the country, with a tenanted area of 276 million sqft.  

Ram Sellaratnam, Sunil Menon, and Subash Vasudevan, Co-Founders of iBus, stated, “We at iBus welcome Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure as an equity partner for the strength of experience in helping companies build scale. Connectivity is fundamental to large developing digital economies like India and our mission is to build an end-to-end intelligent, scalable and convergent connectivity ecosystem.” 

They further added that Distributed Antenna Systems such as In-Building solutions have been fragmented and siloed for a long time. “With this investment, iBus will build scale and eliminate inefficiencies to fast track the essential digitalization of our economy”. 

Cipher-Plexus Capital Advisor was the sole advisor for the transaction.

The business model of iBus is closely connected to India’s data consumption and digital infrastructure. India has the highest per capita data consumption globally with 11GB of average monthly data consumption as compared to just 1 GB per month as of March 2017. 80 percent of data consumption happens indoors where telecom coverage is not satisfactory enough and is a huge requirement of indoor telecom networks for the rise in mobile data consumption and the shift to 4G / 5G.

With the Indian Government’s focus on improving digital infrastructure across the country, businesses such as iBus will play a major role in developing such infrastructure and advancing network capacity and coverage. 

The company also offers other solutions such as O-RAN deployment and data analytics, which will play a crucial role as the country shifts towards 5G.    

“Our investment will allow iBus to drive consolidation and scale in a fragmented industry while enhancing the mobile user experience”, said Raja Parthasarathy, Managing Director and Co-Head of Morgan Stanley India Infrastructure. Established in 2013 by three first-generation entrepreneurs, iBus had earlier raised capital from several renowned investors and family offices. 

With the pandemic pushing the workforce to work from home, there has been a sharp rise in the demand for strong in-building connectivity. This presents a great opportunity for iBus. The recently raised funds would help the company to scale its operations further.

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