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DigitalBridge Ventures Leads $60 Million Series C Funding Round for 5G Technology Innovator Celona

DigitalBridge Ventures’ Inaugural Investment Marks DigitalBridge’s Entry into Rapidly Growing Digital Infrastructure Technology Vertical
Latest Round of Funding to Fuel Expansion of Celona’s Global Sales, R&D, and Channel Development to Capitalize on Significant Growth in Enterprise 5G Networks

DigitalBridge Group, Inc. (“DigitalBridge”) announced that DigitalBridge Ventures, its recently announced venture capital initiative, has led a $60 million Series C funding round in Celona, Inc. (“Celona”), the first enterprise networking company to bridge the gap between LTE/5G cellular wireless and enterprise IT infrastructure.

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“DigitalBridge’s interest and investment is another strong indicator that 5G technology within the enterprise will transform how organizations do business”

Founded in 2019, Celona has established itself as a leading innovator in the global private LTE/5G infrastructure market, which is forecast to grow over 5x to almost $6 billion by 20241. In November 2020, Celona launched its fully-integrated 5G LAN platform, purpose-built to help organizations easily deploy, operate and integrate a 5G cellular network within existing infrastructures. Earlier this month, Celona and Verizon Business launched a partnership to provide turn-key private networking solutions that will accelerate enterprise 5G adoption across a wide variety of use cases for Celona’s technology, including factory automation, distance learning, real-time inventory management, and supply chain logistics, among many others.

Celona’s Series C financing round also included participation from all of Celona’s existing investors including NTTVC (Celona’s Series B lead investor), Lightspeed Venture Partners, Norwest Venture Partners, Qualcomm Ventures and Cervin Ventures. The new financing brings Celona’s total capital investment to date to over $100 million.

DigitalBridge Ventures’ inaugural investment extends the firm’s investment management platform into high-growth companies across emerging digital infrastructure technologies, a strategic and directly adjacent space that complements DigitalBridge’s heritage as an investor-operator in the physical layer of digital infrastructure. DigitalBridge’s deep domain expertise, market intelligence and broad portfolio provide unique insights and natural strategic opportunities for DigitalBridge Ventures to source, vet, and add value to companies across the emerging digital infrastructure technology vertical. The DigitalBridge Ventures initiative is led by Alexandre Villela, a seasoned venture capitalist with over 25 years of experience investing in and managing businesses in technology and digital infrastructure domains.

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“DigitalBridge Ventures provides DigitalBridge with a new avenue to stay at the forefront of digital infrastructure by investing in exceptional, disruptive businesses,” said Marc Ganzi, President and CEO of DigitalBridge. “This is a key component of our plan to enter new growth verticals in 2022 as a full-stack digital infrastructure investor and allows us to bring our capabilities and expertise to the software-defined network of the future.”

Ganzi added, “Celona is a pioneer in the private 5G market, providing an industry-leading solution that will advance the future of enterprise networking by delivering the low-latency, high-reliability solutions enterprises are increasingly demanding. We are excited to launch this new investment strategy, leveraging DigitalBridge’s unique resources to identify and partner with emerging, entrepreneurial leaders across the digital infrastructure technology sector.”

“DigitalBridge’s interest and investment is another strong indicator that 5G technology within the enterprise will transform how organizations do business,” said Rajeev Shah, Co-Founder and CEO of Celona. “With a first mover advantage, a track record of successful execution and the support of world-class investors like DigitalBridge, Celona is uniquely positioned to define and lead the future of private 5G networking.”

Alexandre Villela, Senior Vice President of DigitalBridge Ventures, said, “Digital infrastructure is rapidly evolving to become software-defined, hyper-automated with extensive use of artificial intelligence and truly based on cloud-native technologies and consumption models. At DigitalBridge Ventures, we want to partner with best-of-breed companies like Celona whose deep specialization, scalable business models, and tangible value propositions position them to accelerate innovation across industries.”

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