On 24th October 2019, CDC Group announced its investment in WorldLink, which is the largest private-sector internet service provider of Nepal. CDC has invested approximately $12 million that translates to NPR 135 crores in WorldLink.
It’s the first equity investment and second investment of CDC Group in Nepal this year, the nation being one of the developing and frontier markets in the world.
The investment will make sure that WorldLink gets help with the fund for its ambitious expansion throughout Nepal, reaching further remote territories thereby connecting hundreds of thousands of households as well as small enterprises to the internet.
The digital services, in contrast to other Asian countries, is less accessible in Nepal thereby hindering different communities and businesses development. A key part of UN Sustainable Development Goal 9 and Nepal’s development and economic growth is the accessibility of quality internet service at an affordable cost.
About WorldLink, it seems to be continuously working hard and has thus got it as the largest ISP of Nepal. It has laid over 8,000km of fibre and reached some of Nepal’s most remote places including Chhatrakot Rural Municipality and Ruru Rural Municipality. Moreover, it is also taking part in the Nepal Government subsidy scheme to extend service to Karnali. Karnali is the most mountainous and underdeveloped province in Nepal.
Therefore the capital from CDC will help WorldLink to provide even more small businesses and families with a reliable internet source. And the advanced connectivity is believed to help stimulate businesses growth as well as the growth of the local economy as they open commercial communications on a global platform.
Similarly, WorldLink currently comprises around 3,000 employees, which is believed to increase to 4,000 and above. Also, CDC will be helping the company to develop skills and training programme for all staff and progress health and safety standards.
About the matter, the Managing Director and Head of Asia at CDC, Mr. Srini Nagarajan stated, “We firmly believe in the power of connectivity to help bring communities out of poverty. Advancing the internet to MSMEs across Nepal gives them access to global trade and markets. It also brings families into contact in Nepal and overseas. WorldLink’s expansion has been impressive, led by its experienced founding and management teams. CDC’s capital will help accelerate this, helping it reach further remote regions. It will also support a meaningful increase in the employee base, providing all staff with learning and development skills.
This is CDC’s second investment in Nepal this year. We are delighted to be creating long term partnerships in a country where our capital will make a meaningful difference to people’s lives.”
Similarly, the Managing Director of WorldLink, Mr. Dilip Agrawal said, “We feel honoured to be the first CDC equity investment in Nepal. It is a recognition of our 24 years’ hard work and commitment to Nepal’s internet and telecoms industry. With CDC’s backing, our ambition is to transform WorldLink into a world-class company that will serve as a model and inspiration to other companies in Nepal. Our partnership will accelerate our pursuit to connect everyone, anywhere, all the time.”
Also, Head of Office of DFID Nepal, Lisa Honan said, “DFID has a long history of helping connect Nepal’s most remote villages to the rest of the country through roads and bridges, to support Nepal’s economic growth. I know that this access has worked wonders to unlock the potential of these places. The benefits of dependable internet access in rural Nepal are immense, ranging from improved health services, education, access to information and financial services and connection between people and businesses. I’m excited to see what changes this new initiative between CDC group and WorldLink will bring for Nepal.”
CDC Group, in the earlier 2019 had provided a three-year loan of US$15 million to the NMB Bank.