AI mobility company Nexar said it had agreed to acquire Veniam, a provider of intelligent networking for the internet of moving things. With this acquisition, Nexar will combine vision data – captured and processed from billions of miles of driving – with Veniam communications technology.

“Together, the companies will exponentially increase the reach and decrease the costs of rich mobility applications and the real time mapping of the physical world,” a statement said.

Vehicles are increasingly becoming engines of data and Nexar claims to be “at the forefront of data collection”. Crowd-sourced images and detections collected its dash cams are processed to create and continually update a real time digital twin of American roads and cities. Many data applications are already powered by this digital twin, including applications helping to train autonomous cars for extreme driving scenarios, map out the changing road infrastructure, monitor, in real time, locations of construction zones and available street parking and identify roads in need of repair.

Veniam, based in Porto, Portugal, claims to have “served dozens of global companies” with a software platform which allows devices in cars to connect with each other as well as the internet. Its technology turns the cars into internet access points for other devices, creating a mesh network capable of sharing data and internet connectivity across hundreds of thousands of devices and cars.

“Veniam is a natural fit,” said Eran Shir, co-founder and CEO of Nexar. “We became very familiar with their technology… as clients of Veniam. It was obvious we can achieve so much more with them as part of Nexar.

“With Veniam we will continue scaling our data footprint, and be able to expand our offering to OEMs.

“For the first time, Nexar will provide a bundle of rich applications and data access, removing long-standing barriers and accelerating the adoption of crowdsourced vision for the benefit of the entire mobility ecosystem.”

Joao Barros, founder and CEO of Veniam, who will become chief platform officer at Nexar, added: “We’re thrilled to be joining their team and working together to transfer massive amounts of data to the cloud in a secure and cost-effective way, while making cars and the cities they drive in, smarter, safer and more sustainable.”

The two companies noted the acquisition was one of the first of a Portuguese startup by an Israeli company and a “milestone for the Portugal tech scene which has drawn international attention as a European startup hub”.