New French operator Phocea DC has raised €5 million ($5.4m) to develop a data center in Marseille.

The company raised the funds from French venture firm Reflexion Capital.

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The Tier III quality facility will span 1,700 sqm and offer around 1.2MW with a PUE of 1.2. It will feature two meet-me rooms, will look to reuse waste heat, and reportedly seek to use hydrogen in lieu of diesel generators for backup.

To be located in the 3rd arrondissement of the city, near the port, the company's debut data center is set to launch in the second half of 2024.

Launched last year, Phocea aims to offer sovereign services to local communities, businesses, operators, and outsourcing services.

Founder and CEO Damien Desanti has previously held roles at a number of French firms including ITinSell Cloud, ASP Serveur Astek, Orange, and PRO BTP Groupe.

“Our future customers will be local authorities, companies who want a sovereign alternative, IT service providers but also French and international operators wishing to rely on several sites,” Desanti told Maddyness. “In our pool of investors, some have entered into the capital of other startups which could contribute to improving the efficiency of the site in the future and to the second tranche of equipment. For example, we are considering immersion cooling and installing hydrogen-based generators.”

On LinkedIn, Reflexion CEO Nicolas Meunier said: “This operation will make it possible to create a new sovereign player in the data center sector by using the latest energy efficiency technologies, and by serving as a laboratory to experiment.”

Marseille is home to a number of deployed and upcoming subsea cables. Digital Realty has a number of data centers in the city and US Nautilus is planning one in the area.