Nexar, a start-up that makes an AI-based dashcam app to monitor road safety, announced today that it has raised $ 30 million Series B, led by the Ibex companies. The Participants included Alibaba Innovation Ventures (the venture capital investment arm of Alibaba Group), National Insurance and the return of investors Aleph, Mosaic Ventures, Slow Ventures, True Ventures, and Defense companies.
Nexar’s dashcam application relies on the computer vision and sensor fusion to detect accidents and to analyze the conditions of the road, and then sends real-time alerts to other vehicles on its network. Its technology is also used by insurance companies, collision reconstruction, using the reimbursement request investigations.
The Tel Aviv company has also made two big leadership announcements. Yoad Shraybom, the former chief financial officer of the Walt Disney Company in Turkey, Israel, and Greece, is now its chief financial officer, and Incapsula founder and former ceo Marc Gaffan will serve as its chief business officer. If Nexar newly-minted CFO and CBO positions that might give rise to speculation that it is looking at a share issue (Mobileye, another of the road safety tech company, has been made public in 2014), co-founder and ceo Eran Shir said there are no current plans for an ipo. Instead, the addition of Shraybom and Gaffan is intended to assist the company’s global expansion. Ibex partner Elan Zivotofsky also joined its board of directors.
Nexar has raised $ 45 million in total, the funding and the help of its new assets to build its vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) network by signing partnerships with insurance companies, the drivers on ride-sharing services such as Uber or Lyft, car manufacturers and municipalities that use its technology for monitoring traffic and street infrastructure. For cities, Nexar tools help to find ways of resolving the bottlenecks of traffic, or the stain of potholes, cracks, and other potentially hazardous damage to the road by the creation of a “digital ” MRI of the town,” said Shir in an e-mail.
Nexar app launched in 2016, and is now used by drivers 740 cities across 160 countries, the company claims. Its biggest markets of the City of New York (Nexar says its being used by more than 10% of carpool drivers there), San Francisco, Tel Aviv and Las Vegas. The addition of Alibaba as an investor can help Nexar to add a few Chinese cities to this list, too.
“China is an incredibly exciting market for us that we always have our eyes on. We already have a large number of drivers who, in China, in the car with Nexar, and in partnership with local actors in the region could contribute to the acceleration of our drivers of the footprint in the region,” said Shir.
Nexar competitors include Mobileye, which has been acquired by Intel for $ 15.3 billion last year, and Nauto, who also use AI-based dashcams to send information via V2V networks. Shir said Nexar differentiates by enabling its drivers to download a mobile application that turns a smartphone into a dashcam they do not need to buy separate hardware. The company also claims to have the largest V2V road safety network and the world’s largest set of data concerning the road conditions and driving safety, developed from more than 100 million kilometres travelled.
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