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The smart cities race is on

The investment will be used to respond to increasing demand among local authorities for smart city technologies

The city of Hull: Connexin has a 10-year city centre wi-fi contract with the city council
The city of Hull: Connexin has a 10-year city centre wi-fi contract with the city council

Metropolitan wi-fi firm Connexin has secured up to a £10m investment to rapidly scale-up and expand its smart cities business.


Connexin says the investment, led by Digital Alpha Advisors, which focuses on digital infrastructure and services and has a strategic partnership with Cisco Systems, will be used to respond to increasing demand among local authorities for smart city technologies.


Connexin is scaling up its work with local authorities to provide wi-fi as a public service and for connected devices such as road sensors, energy, and security systems.


In addition, Connexin’s investment partner Digital Alpha will enable the firm to offer cash-strapped local authorities new ways of financing technology upgrades that share the risks and rewards. Digital Alpha will underwrite up to £100m in smart city projects in coordination with investment partners.


“The smart cities race has stepped up a gear and this investment lifts Connexin to the front of the field,” said Connexin CEO, Furqan Alamgir. “This investment is accelerating Connexin’s work with local authorities. Working together we can more quickly unlock the societal benefits of the Internet of Things, which means better transport, cleaner streets, improved health and social care, and a whole lot more.


“Smart cities require smart partnerships between the public sector and technology providers. With this backing, we are able to provide local authorities with smart ways to finance technology upgrades that share the risks and the benefits between us and make sense to taxpayers.”


Founded in the UK city of Hull in 2006, Connexin was recently named one of the Top 100 Fastest Growing Technology Companies in the Northern Tech Awards. Since Connexin won a key 10-year city centre wi-fi contract with Hull City Council, the company has expanded its work with local authorities across the UK and has rapidly become a leader in the smart cities sector.


Anil Menon, global president for Cisco’s Smart+Connected Communities, said: “Connexin, as our partner, will combine its solutions with the Cisco Kinetic for Cities platform into a unique single service offering.


"By financing the offering through a comprehensive revenue-share model, it will be possible to remove the impact of city budget limitations and help scale smart cities adoption across the UK and beyond. Digital Alpha’s investment galvanises this relationship and inspires new infrastructure investment models worldwide.”


Part of the £10m investment is being used to build a technology campus, which will include a state of the art data centre and Connexin’s new headquarters, and to build out the team for Connexin’s next stage of growth.


Connexin has plans for 100 new jobs at its Hull headquarters and 10 new jobs at its office in London, ranging from apprentices to product managers.


Design and development of the new data centre are already underway and will be completed in 2018. Most of the new data centre’s capacity has already been acquired by business customers in the region, but more is being added and the facility is open for new business.


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