Sidewalk Labs launches infrastructure company with Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan


Sidewalk Labs and its parent company, Alphabet Inc., have partnered with the Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan to create a new company that will acquire and invest in advanced infrastructure.

“Sidewalk Infrastructure will play an important role in Sidewalk Labs’ ecosystem of products, financing, and development.”

The new company, called Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners, will be funded by the three partnering organizations, and is intended to invest in digital infrastructure, energy, advanced mobility, water and waste, and social infrastructure. Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners has been designed as a company rather than a fund, aiming to support infrastructure projects and either acquire or take equity stakes in tech companies with products applicable to infrastructure.

“Sidewalk Infrastructure believes technological advancements are accelerating widespread and fast-paced transformation in traditional infrastructure, posing long-term risks to industry stakeholders such as asset owners, cities, and investors, and creating opportunities for those positioned to benefit from the deployment of new technologies,” the new company states on its website. “Sidewalk Infrastructure seeks to work with these stakeholders to pioneer innovative infrastructure systems that can transform urban life.”

The holding company was mentioned in Sidewalk Labs’ master plan, released earlier this summer, which it said would “allow Sidewalk Labs to commit more resources to research and development than a typical real estate developer, and to invest in hard assets with higher capital requirements than a typical technology company.”

The company was registered with the US Security and Exchange Commission in November, and will be led by co-CEOs Brian Barlow and Jonathan Winer, both of whom will be based in the United States.

RELATED: Ann Cavoukian still has problems with Sidewalk Labs’ approach to data with Quayside

Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners plans to invest in North American projects that require more than $100 million of equity, according to sources speaking to the Wall Street Journal. According to The Canadian Press, projects could be similar to those Sidewalk Labs hopes to implement in Toronto’s Quayside, including neighbourhood-scale heating and cooling, stormwater management, and advanced traffic controls.

“Sidewalk Infrastructure will give cities an opportunity to deploy next-generation infrastructure,” Sidewalk Labs CEO Dan Doctoroff told The Canadian Press. “Sidewalk Infrastructure will play an important role in Sidewalk Labs’ ecosystem of products, financing, and development to make cities more inclusive and sustainable.”

The urban innovation business arm of Alphabet is also still in talks with Waterfront Toronto, an organization overseeing the development of Quayside. Sidewalk’s master proposal detailing plans to create a smart city in the area is still yet to be approved, but according to The Globe and Mail, both Sidewalk and Waterfront Toronto indicated that Sidewalk Infrastructure will have little sway over the existing negotiations.

Image courtesy Sidewalk Labs

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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