A few months ago, I had the unique opportunity to visit Porto, Portugal to witness the next big movement in the Internet of Things—the world’s largest vehicular mesh network with more than 600 vehicles turned into WiFi hotspots. Right now in Porto, 73 percent of bus riders with mobile devices—55,000 monthly—are using this free WiFi, and across the vehicular network three terabytes of data are being transmitted monthly, collectively offloading 50 percent of traffic from cellular networks in the busiest areas.
By turning vehicles into WiFi hotspots, True’s new portfolio company Veniam is delivering ubiquitous, reliable WiFi accessibility to citizens and wireless machines across sprawling cities. Leveraging the 1 billion vehicles around the globe, the company’s proprietary vehicular network technology connects infrastructure, people and things to the Internet and to each other. The ability for citizens, their devices and anything with a sensor to efficiently and cost-effectively connect will bring to the cloud massive sets of new physical data that will shed light into the inner-workings of urban settings. This new data will usher in smarter cities and connect more people to the environments through which they move.
Veniam Founder João Barros calls it “the Internet of Moving Things.”
João and his Co-Founders Robin Chase (Founder and former CEO of Zipcar), Susana Sargento and Roy Russell are dedicated to building a service that can make a real difference in our cities and our world. Veniam-connected cities not only offer WiFi in public transport, but can also use the resulting large-scale data sets to address environmental concerns, respond to real-time public transportation needs, adjust waste collection routes dynamically, and support a host of yet-to-be-imagined solutions for rising urban challenges.
We’re incredibly excited for the success Veniam has seen in Porto play out in cities across the world, and we are thrilled to be partners with the Veniam team.
João, Robin, Susana and Roy: welcome to True!
Read more of my thoughts on Veniam on my personal blog.