The APG-backed Smart City Infrastructure Fund is investing an initial $50m (€45.7m) into SiFi Networks to enable the fibre optic network developer to expand into more US cities.

SiFi said the capital investment from the Whitehelm Capital managed fund will allow SiFi to expand into more cities simultaneously through the recruitment and training of additional industry specialists and accelerate SiFi Networks’ FiberCity deployments.

A further support of up to $400m will provide the project funding for the building of new fibre networks and new digital services throughout several cities in the US, it said.

The latest investment extends the Smart City Infrastructure Fund’s relationship with SiFi.

In April last year, the fund – created the year before to provide long-term funding for ‘smart city’ infrastructure – made its first investment by funding the rollout of SiFi’s fibre optic network in Fullerton, California.

SiFi said it is installing the FiberCity network in Fullerton and will shortly begin several other deployments in similar-sized cities across the US and will be working in over 20 cities within the next 12 months.

Mike Harris, founder of SiFi said the latest funding 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”.

Matteo Andreoletti, Whitehelm Capital’s head of infrastructure equity – Europe and North America, said: “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.”

To read the digital edition of the latest IPE Real Assets magazine click here.