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Alphabet’s Sidewalk Labs Offshoot Is Now a Unicorn

Projects to build highways for self-driving vehicles and smart grid applications are well underway. 

Sidewalk Labs headquarters near the proposed site of 'Quayside' in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2020. 

Sidewalk Labs headquarters near the proposed site of 'Quayside' in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in 2020. 

Photographer: Cole Burston/Bloomberg
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After Alphabet Inc. shelved plans to build its own city and wound down the company in charge of the project, a group of former employees is carrying on its legacy. Their startup, Sidewalk Infrastructure Partners LLC, is pursuing ambitious infrastructure projects, including the construction of specialized roads for self-driving cars, a sprawling smart grid project and the implementation of technology to help cities build 5G wireless networks.

On Wednesday, the company plans to announce it raised $400 million from StepStone Group Inc., a private-market investment firm whose focuses include infrastructure. The deal values the business, known as SIP, at $1.25 billion, said a person familiar with the terms who asked not to be identified because they’re private.