Israeli startup Nexar raised $52 million in a Series C funding round led by Corner Ventures with participation from Samsung NEXT, La Maison, Micron Ventures, Sompo, Atreides Management, and previous investors Aleph, Mosaic Ventures, Ibex Investors, and Nationwide. The company also announced the launch of a new data product called Nexar Virtual Camera to support public officials monitoring the impact of COVID-19 in the US.
Founded in 2015 by CEO Eran Shir, a former manager of Yahoo’s Creation Innovation Center in Israel, and CTO Bruno Fernandez-Ruiz, Nexar uses smartphones to create an AI-backed vehicle-to-vehicle network that works to predict and prevent accidents. The company says its US-based network of drivers using the company’s vision-powered dash cameras has grown to over 1,000 cities.
The newest product, the Nexar Virtual Camera, will allow “users to get on-demand visual insights into what’s happening with key areas of interest, including monitoring traffic at hospital entrances or observing crowd levels in park spaces, as well as a number of products for private sector users.”
The product will be free for the duration of the pandemic, according to the company.
Nexar also said it will use the injection of funds to support growth and global expansion, following a partnership with Japanese insurance giant Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Co. to put Nexar tech into hundreds of thousands of vehicles in Japan. The company also has plans to roll out a curbside mapping pilot in Europe with one of the world’s largest automotive manufacturers, which it did not name.
“Our vision-based technology is bringing automated safe-driving alerts to our users, while at the same time generating on-demand roadway insights that are being used right now by our public and private sector partners,” said Nexar CEO and co-founder Eran Shir. “As we look to expand beyond the US into new markets, we are realizing the future that we set out to build – a connected network that can actually make our roads more efficient and save lives.”
“Vision-based technology companies are in a race to see who can capture the most roadway data, the most quickly, the most cost-effectively and the most frequently,” said Aleph partner Michael Eisenberg. “Whoever wins this race will make cities, states, and private companies smarter and safer in the near term, and power mapping and geolocation for autonomous vehicles in the long term. Nexar is winning that race, and we’re betting on them to chart our digital future.”
To date, Nexar has raised close to $100 million in funding.