Nobody's sitting still when it comes to the Internet of Things (IoT), so it seems fitting that investors are putting $22 million in Series B funds toward the Internet of Moving Things, a space that startup Veniam is trailblazing. The round was led by Verizon Ventures with new investors Cisco Investments, Orange Digital Ventures and Yamaha Motor Ventures contributing.
The funding will enable the Mountain View, Calif.-based Veniam to expand its full-stack platform and deliver managed services over networks of connected vehicles to be deployed in urban fleets, ports, airports, factories and other transportation ecosystems around the world, including New York, Singapore, Barcelona and London.
Veniam's technology products and platforms combine DSRC connected vehicle technology, 4G, Wi-Fi and mesh networking to provide handoffs between network infrastructure and vehicles. Last year, the company was voted as the "best new innovative product idea most likely to succeed" within the cable industry at CableLabs' Summer Conference Innovation Showcase.
The company is already showing off what it's doing in Porto, Portugal, site of the first rollout of its technology. The network there provides more than 50,000 mobile hotspots to end-users, and it already has hundreds of vehicles, including taxis, buses and garbage collection trucks, serving as mobile Wi-Fi hotspots. They are also gathering terabytes of data, which they send from the physical world to the cloud.
In the latest funding round, existing investors True Ventures, Union Square Ventures and Cane Investments also participated. Veniam also plans to grow its teams in Silicon Valley, Porto and Singapore to continue developing what it considers disruptive hardware, software and cloud components, while delivering city-scale mesh networks of vehicles that expand wireless coverage and act as mobile sensors for a range of applications.
Granted, mesh networks have been around for years and their utility in urban areas has been touted by Veniam's predecessors. But using citywide mesh networks of connected vehicles and other moving things is a "radically new concept," and one that Verizon Ventures is excited to support, according to Ed Ruth, manager at Verizon Ventures, in a press release. "Veniam's hardware enables uninterrupted 4G and 5G connectivity, and their cloud-based services empower both private enterprises and city services to act upon valuable security, safety and operational efficiency data to improve the quality of life for all citizens," he said.
Key use cases include fully managed mobile Wi-Fi hotspots with advertising, onboard diagnostics and video, smart city applications and real-time monitoring and control of mobile assets in industrial spaces.
Veniam was founded by João Barros, professor at University of Porto, Portugal; Susana Sargento, associate professor at University of Aveiro, Portugal; Robin Chase, founder and former CEO of Zipcar; and Roy Russell, Zipcar founding CTO.
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