Internet of Things (IoT) has been an area of interest at Verizon Ventures of late, with recent investments, as well as discussions we’ve been having at our Venture Forums and on our blog. There’s good reason for our IoT excitement: connected cities will inevitably be a cornerstone of our futuristic world, offering tangible experiences and services that impact people’s lives in foundational ways. IoT’s rapid growth is exciting (Gartner estimates there are around 6.4 billion connected things, up 30% from last year), but one major hurdle to overcome will be the ability to provide sufficient network bandwidth and availability to millions of connected things located in the same crowded areas. Today, we are proud to announce our investment in Veniam, a company that is working to solve this issue by creating innovative hardware, software, and cloud components, while delivering city-scale mesh networks of vehicles that expand wireless coverage and act as mobile sensors for a wide range of applications.
Leveraging one billion vehicles around the globe, this Mountain View, CA based company is pioneering the Internet of Moving Things (IoMT) by connecting vehicles, mobile objects, and their end users to the Internet and to each other. By turning vehicles into WiFi hotspots, Veniam is delivering for the first time ubiquitous, reliable WiFi accessibility on the move at a very low cost to citizens across sprawling cities. Other interesting use cases include fully managed mobile WiFi hotspots with advertising, onboard diagnostics and video, smart city applications, and real-time monitoring and control of mobile assets in industrial spaces. Veniam’s technology is especially useful in areas with moving vehicles and machines where there isn’t enough cellular coverage, such as sea ports and airports. Veniam’s vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2X) solutions currently operate in Porto, Portugal, providing free WiFi to more than 300,000 individual WiFi users.
Veniam delivers a full stack solution that combines hardware, software, and operates in the cloud. Veniam’s communications hardware, called Netrider, can be installed in any vehicle, and provides a high-quality, multi-purpose network to passengers that’s both 12x cheaper than cellular data, and frees up traffic from congested cellular networks. The Netrider box decides the best wireless service and technology to use at each point in time, and vehicles with the technology automatically leverage “car-to-car” networking to significantly increase WiFi coverage. Veniam’s new funding will enable the company to expand its full-stack platform and deliver managed services over networks of connected vehicles to be deployed in fleets around the world, including New York, Singapore, Barcelona, and London.
Most importantly, Veniam addresses the growing challenges of rapid urbanization by deploying a new kind of wireless Internet infrastructure that alleviates the digital divide, generates valuable data, and improves city life.
We look forward to working with Veniam as they further develop their IoMT solutions for connected cities where we no longer need to physically access the Internet to seek information, goods, and services – it just exists.
Related posts from Verizon Ventures:
Accelerating the Rate of 5G Innovation With New Portfolio Kumu Networks
Verizon Ventures' Newest Portfolio Mitú Reshapes the Latino Media Landscape and How Consumers Are Reached
Verizon Ventures' Newest Portfolio Urgent.ly Reinvents Roadside Assistance for the On-Demand Economy