Why Everstream Is Buying Detroit-Based Rocket Fiber

By Amit Chowdhry ● February 29, 2020
  • Detroit-based internet service provider (ISP) Rocket Fiber announced recently that it entered an agreement to be acquired by Everstream

Detroit-based internet service provider (ISP) Rocket Fiber — which is a company that specializes in delivering gigabit internet and connectivity solutions — announced recently that it entered an agreement to be acquired by Everstream. Everstream is an enterprise-grade network provider operating thousands of route fiber miles across the Midwest.

As part of the deal Everstream will be expanding into Detroit by acquiring Rocket Fiber’s fiber network along with the direct connection to Everstream’s existing fiber network infrastructure in Michigan and its other Midwest markets. Plus Everstream will absorb Rocket Fiber’s two offices in downtown Detroit, including, more than 75 team members.

Everstream’s enterprise-grade network is known for delivering business fiber services, including dedicated Internet access, dark fiber, Ethernet, and data center solutions. And the company’s advanced fiber network offers direct peering with all major carriers and cloud hyperscalers. Plus with high-speed and low-latency connections, it provides converged internet, voice, and data services at speeds of up to 100 Gbps.

Rocket Fiber was originally founded in 2014 by Marc Hudson, Randy Foster, and Edi Demaj after they determined the need for a faster and more reliable internet solution in the city. And they secured funding from Dan Gilbert – who shared their goal of providing Detroiters with dependable and unrestrained connectivity. From there, they started installing miles of brand-new fiber-optic cable throughout the city.

In 2015, Rocket Fiber grew to a team of over 30 team members and had opened its headquarters in the heart of Detroit, ensuring proximity to its growing list of residential and business clients. Soon the company started providing gigabit speed internet to some of the city’s most highly trafficked spaces, including Ford Field, Greektown Casino-Hotel, the QLine and the TCF Center (formerly COBO).

Recently, Rocket Fiber finalized its development of the new Pistons Performance Center as the organization’s official technology partner and entered into a wireline agreement with Sprint. Plus the company started its expansion outside of Detroit into Oakland County and Grosse Pointe after winning an RFP to build and develop the Grosse Pointe Public School System fiber ring.

Going forward, all Rocket Fiber clients will continue to receive all services without disruption. And Everstream’s expansive Midwest footprint will allow for even more robust service offerings to Rocket Fiber clients as well as new clients throughout the region.

Rocket Fiber is profitable, but the terms of the deal were undisclosed. The Rocket Fiber founders told TechCrunch that the company was sold at a “record multiplier for the telecom space.”

Key Quotes:

“This acquisition marks the final stage of Rocket Fiber’s evolution. What began six years ago as a moonshot idea to leapfrog Detroit’s technology infrastructure has come full circle as we’ve matured into a rapidly growing and profitable business. By joining Everstream, we are now able to turbocharge that mission by offering our clients the same incredible client service but with the added benefit of leveraging Everstream’s much larger Midwest footprint.”

– Marc Hudson, CEO and co-founder at Rocket Fiber

“Detroit has undergone an urban revitalization, making the acquisition of Rocket Fiber and its strong presence in Detroit the perfect complement to our existing Michigan network. We’ve had a longstanding relationship with Dan Gilbert and his portfolio of businesses, including Rocket Fiber, Rock Ventures and the Cleveland Cavaliers. This opportunity allows us to continue to provide Detroit-area businesses with the high-capacity, low-latency connectivity services they’ve come to expect from their fiber network provider and expands their direct access across Midwest through the growing Everstream network.”

– Everstream president and CEO Brett Lindsey

“The Rock Family of Companies prides itself in supporting what is a very accessible and productive startup ecosystem the City of Detroit. It is amazing to see that Dan’s initial vision and faith in three entrepreneurs has paid off in the form of Rocket Fiber creating game-changing digital infrastructure access that has helped power Detroit’s tech and business scene. It is a testament to what can be accomplished in Detroit and the hard work that Edi, Marc, Randy, and their entire team have put into Rocket Fiber.”

– Rock Ventures Chief Communications Officer Aaron Walker

“Detroit was the perfect city to launch and grow Rocket Fiber. The demand for a newer, faster and more reliable internet service was there, and we knew that we needed to completely revolutionize the way that internet was done. The city and our partners made it possible to develop a ground-up and customer-facing approach, as-well-as new methods of deployment and technology that were able to serve both the business district and broader community.”

Rocket Fiber co-founder and COO Edi Demaj

“Our mission from day one was to help change the narrative that technology companies couldn’t start and grow in Detroit by creating a world-class infrastructure second to none. After being recognized as one of the fastest ISPs in the world and winning numerous client service awards, we feel like we’ve largely accomplished our goals and then some.”

– Rocket Fiber co-founder and CTO Randy Foster