VENIAM, winner of the BGI 3rd Edition, secures $4.92M funding to develop operations in the United States.
Financing worth 4.92 million dollars, led by True Ventures with Union Square Ventures, Cane Investments and private investors, will allow VENIAM to grow its presence in the USA, and accelerate the development of its vehicle networks in various North American cities
Published on: Mar 4, 2016
Transcripts - VENIAM, winner of the BGI 3rd Edition, secures $4.92M funding to develop operations in the United States.
Lisbon, December 3rd 2014
VENIAM, winner of the BGI 3rd Edition, secures $4.92M funding to
develop operations in the United States.
Financing worth 4.92 million dollars, led by True Ventures with Union Square Ventures, Cane Investments and
private investors, will allow VENIAM to grow its presence in the USA, and accelerate the development of its
vehicle networks in various North American cities. By doing this, VENIAM will be able to replicate the network it
has established in Oporto, which is already the world's largest network of vehicles connected to the internet,
acting as hotspots (over 600 vehicles).
VENIAM was one the finalists of the 3rd Edition of the Building Global Innovators (BGI) “IUL MIT Portugal Caixa
Capital Accelerator” program in 2012, entitling them to €100,000 of funding. They succeeded in becoming the
grand champion of that Edition, further winning another €100,000. Their positive growth and subsequent
accomplishment of pre-determined milestones in the 12 months that followed, further secured them another
€200,000 of funding.
The company is a spin-off from the University of Oporto, University of Aveiro and the Institute of
Telecommunications. Along with the network established in Oporto, pilot projects have also been established in
port areas and container terminals (like the port of Leixões).
“Building on our success in Oporto, this financing is a significant boost to our rapid expansion in the United
States”, confirmed João Barros, CEO and founder of VENIAM. “There has been an impressive interest in our
technology and we're confident that large scale vehicle networks, which are enabled by our proprietary
technology, will be the base for the rapid expansion of the Internet of things in cities and industrial zones.”
In transforming vehicles into hotspots, VENIAM is a pioneer in the supply of ubiquitous and secure Wi-Fi access
and wireless equipment in expanding cities. Currently in Oporto, 73% of the bus users with enabled phones use
VENIAM's free Wi-Fi – equivalent to 60,000 users per month – and 2.53 terabytes of data are downloaded
monthly, effectively alleviating 50% of the traffic from the most overloaded phone networks. VENIAM's
technology is also being installed in controlled spaces like ports and container terminals, to guarantee a better
wireless coverage, more security, and real time bidirectional communication and data transfer.
“A lot has been said about the Internet of Things (IoT) this past decade, but we've seen very little emerge in the
landscape in any concrete way” said Om Malik, a partner at True Ventures. “VENIAM's technology will allow
cities to supply the bandwidth necessary for the connection of devices to the internet and each other.”
Leveraging the billions of vehicles throughout the world, the company's proprietary vehicle-network technology
will connect infrastructure, people and objects to the internet and each other. The possibility that citizens, their
equipment and any object with a sensor will be able to efficiently and powerfully connect themselves is
unprecedented, and will finally bring the data of the everyday citizen to the cloud. This new data will strengthen
smart cities, connecting more people to the environment in which they operate, improving their quality of life and
bestowing a great deal of socio-economic benefits that so far have only mentioned theoretically.
The VENIAM's hardware and software solutions provide the raw materials for the IoT in establishing the
platform for the next series of apps and products that people will use daily. Cities connected with VENIAM
technology offer Wi-Fi in public transport and use large scale data to work with environmental concerns, give
real-time feedback on public transport systems, adjust schedules in waste collection and support solutions for
new urban challenges.
Based in Mountain View (California) with engineering laboratories in Portugal, VENIAM was founded by engineers and visionaries like
João Barros, Susana Sargento, Robin Chase (founder and former CEO of Zipcar) e Roy Russell (founder and CTO of Zipcar). Backed
by the leading venture capital companies and business angels of San Francisco, New York, Boston, London and Lisbon, the company
developed its technology in partnership with prestigious academic institutions and currently works with some of the foremost world
innovators of the automotive, internet and software industries. www.veniamworks.com
About ISCTE - Instituto Universitário de Lisboa
ISCTE - University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL) is a public university established in 1972. Pursuing teaching, research and
community service activities, the strategic objectives of ISCTE-IUL are innovation, quality, internationalization and development of an
entrepreneurial culture. With approximately 9060 students 16% of which are foreign students, 324 PhD Professors, 383 Full- time
R&D researchers and 220 non-faculty staff, ISCTE-IUL is proud to be one of the most dynamic and innovative universities in the
country for the past 40 years. ISCTE-IUL’s priorities are innovation, quality and diversity, both in education and in academic research.
With great recognition among companies from all economic sectors, ISCTE-IUL has a high rate of employability of its graduates, in
some areas reaching 100% results. This confirms not only the reputation of the institution but also the quality of its teaching.
BGI is an accelerator for technology companies that targets potential entrepreneurs and technology innovators focusing in four key
areas: Med Tech & Health IT, Smart Cities & Industrial Tech, Enterprise IT & Smart Data, and Ocean Economy. Founded in 2010, it
has already backed 52 companies which have altogether raised €28M and created 200 new jobs. http://mitportugal-bgi.org/