Ziply Fiber raises $450M to tackle rapid edge outs

Ziply Fiber is adding several hundred thousand passings to an already ambitious fiber expansion plan, aiming to secure a first-mover advantage in markets across its four-state footprint as broadband competition heats up. And it’s got the money in hand to do so, announcing it has raised $450 million from its existing investors to carry out its plan.

Harold Zeitz, Ziply’s CEO, told Fierce its newly unveiled edge out strategy is incremental to its existing plan to reach 80% to 85% of its footprint with fiber. He noted it still has “several hundred thousand” locations left to pass to finish its original expansion effort and is now targeting several hundred thousand more locations via edge outs. All told, he said he expects Ziply will add “half a million or more” passings over the next few years.

Financial support in its latest funding round was supplied by WaveDivision Capital, Searchlight Capital Partners, Public Sector Pension Investment Board, British Columbia Investment Management Corporation and Canada Pension Plan Investment Board. The operator previously raised $350 million through a debt offering in October 2021.

“There is a moment in time now where there are other people looking to build and we want to get there first,” Zeitz said of its acceleration. “So, it’s important for us to embark on this now.”

According to Zeitz, its edge out efforts will be focused within the states where it already operates: Washington, Oregon, Idaho and Montana. However, he didn’t rule out the potential for Ziply to move into new territory.

The CEO added it doesn’t expect the company’s expanded plan to impact its supply chain situation as far as labor and materials go.

Alongside its new expansion plan, Ziply announced two promotions: former residential and small business chief Chris Denzin to COO and Rob Griffith to chief of Fiber Design and Construction. Zeitz said the moves are an acknowledgement of the bigger scope of its fiber plans and a natural step for a growing company. He added both Denzin and Griffith have been “major contributors” to the company’s progress thus far and he is “super excited” to see them step into the new positions.