Fort Worth, Texas – July 26, 2023 – Element8, a leading next-generation internet service provider (ISP), backed by a $200 million strategic investment from Digital Alpha, has announced its strategic investment into Wisper ISP, led by industry visionary Nathan Stooke. This transformative partnership marks a significant milestone for the telecommunications industry and strengthens Element8’s commitment to expanding high-speed broadband access across the United States.
The partnership with Wisper ISP represents a leap forward in Element8’s national expansion strategy. By joining forces with Wisper ISP, Element8 will leverage its expertise, infrastructure, and operational excellence to deliver unparalleled connectivity solutions to the heartland. This strategic move enables Element8’s mission of bridging the digital divide and empowering regions with next-generation broadband technology.
“We are extremely excited about the future of Wisper and the opportunities it presents for both companies,” said Kevin Grace, CEO and President of Element8. “Nathan Stooke and his team at Wisper ISP have established an impressive reputation for providing reliable internet services to rural communities along with thought leadership and service, industry-wide. Together, we will amplify our impact, bringing fast and reliable broadband to even more households, businesses, and educational institutions.”
Wisper ISP has been an effective steward of the $220 million Connect America Funds II (CAF) award by continuing to build on its network of more than 500 towers and providing next-generation connectivity to rural communities. This investment and the future work together represents an ideal way for private investment to complement public funding to reach as many unserved and underserved customers as possible.
Nathan Stooke, Founder and CEO of Wisper ISP, expressed his enthusiasm for the investment, stating, “Over the last 20 years, the Wisper team and I have worked to build Wisper into the company that it is today, and this new partnership is an exciting next chapter that will be positive for customers, employees, and the wireless industry as a whole.”
“Partnering with a company that has a shared vision and aligned values on how to treat our employees and customers, while we solve the digital divide will be an energizing opportunity. We are combining both our federal and state funds with private investment to maximize both in pursuit of connecting the communities that so badly need it,” he continued.
While technology agnostic, with this strategic partnership and investment, Element8 is poised to scale within the broadband industry with Tarana’s ngFWA platform. The company’s advanced next-generation fixed wireless access network, powered by a Cisco core and access network, will help residents and businesses to thrive in the digital age, fostering economic growth, enabling remote work and education, and enhancing the overall quality of life.
“This investment demonstrates Element8 and Digital Alpha’s partnership approach in the industry as we focus on funding digital infrastructure deployments that are enabling digital transformation across local communities,” said Rick Shrotri, Founder and Managing Partner at Digital Alpha Advisors. “We are excited to bring together a tested technology solution to build a national, next generation network,” he continued.
In addition to the $1.5 billion assets under management, Digital Alpha brings strategic partnerships with Silicon Valley industry leaders focused on next-generation networks, cloud, IoT, and smart city platforms to bring complete solutions to meet every stakeholder’s needs in this new era of connectivity.
“Cisco recognizes the transformative power of high-speed broadband connectivity for rural communities. We are thrilled to see private investors complement public funding, making for more efficient and impactful investment to help bridge the digital divide in the United States,” said Brian Rueger, Senior Director, Service Provider Sales at Cisco. “We look forward to continuing our work with Element8 to change the economics of the internet with a converged network architecture approach to help meet our shared goals for a more inclusive future for all.”
Wisper was represented by Jeff Santoro and Chris Mullaly, investment bankers at Four Points Capital Partners, a FINRA member broker-dealer.
For more information about Element8 and its mission to revolutionize broadband connectivity, please visit www.e8internet.com.
Element8 (E8) is a telecommunications company founded on a promise: to be a team that offers high-quality telecom services and makes a major difference in our communities. The company specializes in providing high-speed broadband network connections to tertiary and rural markets through a variety of cutting-edge technologies. The company is based in Fort Worth, Texas, and serves clients globally. Element8 is known as Oxygen (Atomic Element 8) on the periodic table. For more information, please visit www.e8internet.com.
About Wisper ISP
Wisper ISP is a rural internet service provider headquartered in Mascoutah, Illinois. The company provides services across underserved communities in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. www.wisperisp.com/about/.
About Digital Alpha Advisors
Digital Alpha Advisors, LLC is an investment firm focused on digital infrastructure required by the rapidly expanding digital economy, with total assets under management of over $1.5 billion. The firm has a strategic collaboration agreement with Cisco Systems, Inc. and has partnered with other leading Silicon Valley firms. Digital Alpha believes it is the first firm focused on making private equity investments in the significant growth opportunities required to underpin the Digital Economy, including next generation communications networks, IoT platforms for urban infrastructure, and cloud-based data management platforms. Digital Alpha was founded in 2017 by Rick Shrotri, former Head of the Global Infrastructure Funds (GIF) team at Cisco, and closed its latest Fund – Digital Alpha Fund II, LP – in early 2021. For more information, please visit www.digitalalpha.net.
E8 Media Relations