Smart City Infrastructure Fund invests in SiFi Networks

May 19, 2020
The funding, which appears to be in two parts, is worth up to $450 million and will be used to fund FiberCity network deployments.

SiFi Networks, which deploys and operates open-access municipal fiber-optic networks in North America under the FiberCity brand, says it has landed what it termed “significant capital” from the Smart City Infrastructure Fund, a global investment fund anchored by APG, the largest pension delivery organization in the Netherlands, and managed by Whitehelm Capital. The funding, which appears to be in two parts, is worth up to $450 million and will be used to fund FiberCity network deployments.

An initial funding infusion of up to $50 million will help enable SiFi to expand into more cities by increasing staff and accelerating fiber network deployments. An additional capital resource of up to $400 million will fund FiberCity network deployments in what SiFi termed “several cities in the U.S.”

SiFi has a number of projects in various stages of development. A roll out in Fullerton, CA, now ongoing, has the potential to serve more than 50,000 homes and businesses (see "Fullerton FiberCity FTTP network deployment to begin this month"). A map on the SiFi website identifies projects in Pittsburg, Simi Valley, and Placentia, CA; Saratoga Springs, NY; Salem, MA; and East Hartford, CT. SiFi says it will be “working” with more than 20 cities within the next 12 months. A project in Pacific Grove, CA, announced in 2014 (see “SiFi Networks to build FTTH network for Pacific Grove, CA”) appears to have foundered.

“We are excited to have successfully secured this funding which will enable SiFi to capitalize on its position as one of the USA’s leading providers of privately funded open access, city-wide fiber networks delivering high-speed broadband to homes and businesses. This injection of capital will kick start the expansion of our business to meet the expected exponential growth in demand for high-speed connectivity and enable city rights of way to be efficiently converted to project readiness,” stated Mike Harris, founder of SiFi Networks.

“The whole team at Whitehelm Capital is delighted to have finalized this deal with SiFi Networks, which will cement our partnership moving forwards. SiFi’s unique business model looks set to transform much of the telecoms market in the USA,” added Matteo Andreoletti, Whitehelm Capital’s head of infrastructure equity – Europe and North America. “By combining SiFi’s know-how with the long-term investment horizon of the Smart City Infrastructure Fund, we can unlock the societal benefits of modern digital infrastructure, leading to better services to citizens, improved quality of life, and sustainable economic growth.”

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