Israeli smart dashcam developer Nexar today completed a $30 million financing round. Investors in the round included Alibaba and Nationwide Insurance, which are likely to open doors in East Asian markets and the insurance market. Ibex Investors led the financing round, with participation from previous investors Aleph, Mosaic Ventures, Slow Ventures, True Ventures, and Tusk Ventures.
Following the investment, Nexar is planning to hire 30 employees - half of them mobile developers and the others for expansion of business cooperation.
Nexar has developed an app that analyzes the situation on the roads in order to warn drivers of hazards in real time. In order to accomplish this, the app is connected to a camera that documents events on the road and how the user is driving, and analyzes him using artificial intelligence technology. The app is connected to a network of communications between vehicles, so that the information gathered from each car is available to all the connected vehicles. This process enables the app to provide drivers with voice alerts. The company plans to use the information gathered from users of its app to expand its cooperation with cities, insurance companies, and auto manufacturers.
Nexar cofounder and CEO Eran Shir told "Globes," "We're sitting on a very unique database, which provides a great many possibilities for artificial wisdom. We have documentation of 10 million hazardous events on the road from 160 countries. For example, it can be used to teach an autonomous vehicle about all types of events it is likely to encounter in different places, and in different weather conditions.
"This information is very important for the insurance companies in the event of an accident. We have the ability to reconstruct it completely. Right now, we're working with several leading insurance companies, and if our users are involved in an accident, we provide them with immediate warning. For its part, the insurance company can call them, understand what happened, and begin to provide help if necessary, such as towing or rescue vehicles." Nexar says that since the app was launched in 2016, users in 740 cities in 160 countries have driven more than 160 million kilometers with it. The cities in which Nexar is most active are New York, San Francisco, Tel Aviv, and Las Vegas. The company currently works in cooperation with the Las Vegas municipality, and provides it with mapping of the traffic in the city, which can be used to spot centers of accidents and traffic jams.
Shir adds, "Such mapping enables mayors to understand their city better, instead of acting blindly." Nexar, however, is not content with goals such as "safer driving" and "understanding the city better."
Shir says that Nexar's primarily goal is to change the driving experience from vision-based driving to information-based driving. According to him, Nexar plans to use the capital it raised to bring this change to the market during the coming year. Although this promise is general and unclear at this point, it is not difficult to imagine drivers listening to instructions and acting accordingly, instead of looking at their surroundings and drawing conclusions. This form of driving is obviously likely to make it easier to get used to autonomous cars.
Published by Globes [online], Israel Business News - www.globes-online.com - on January 24, 2018
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