Data centre company Vapor IO secured backing it said will enable it to realise a goal of deploying edge compute centres in more than 100 locations across the US by 2020.

Private equity company Berkshire Partners led a Series C funding round which included participation from Vapor IO infrastructure partner Crown Castle. The funding total was not disclosed, but Vapor IO said it now has enough money to deploy its Kinetic Edge data centres (pictured) in every major US metro area.

The news came as the company announced it is taking over the reins of Project Voltus, a data centre colocation venture it started with Crown Castle in 2019 to install micro-data centres at existing tower sites. Vapor IO said it will continue to use Crown Castle tower and fibre assets, but will roll Project Voltus into its Kinetic Edge commercial bundle, which includes colocation; interconnection; and software-defined networking services for tech companies and operators.

Pushing power to the edge
Rather than placing a single massive data centre in a city, Vapor IO’s Kinetic Edge architecture employs a series of micro data centres to bring compute power closer to users across a metro area.

In a blog post, Vapor IO said the setup will “make edge-native applications such as [augmented and virtual reality] AR/VR and high-performance autonomous vehicles not just possible, but practical, for millions of users”.

Vapor IO’s push to deploy edge infrastructure comes as US wireless operators including AT&T and Verizon explore edge computing options as they aim for lower latency in a 5G environment.

Work is already under way in Chicago, Illinois, where Vapor IO said it had deployed “multiple” edge data centres. It plans to have 13 sites in progress by the end of this year, reaching nearly 50 by the close of 2019 and more than 100 locations nationwide by the end of 2020.

The company said it will name cities included in its rollout plan later this year.