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BMW i Ventures Invests in Vendia, a Next-Gen Blockchain Company Helping Businesses to Securely Share Data With Third Parties

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【Summary】BMW i Ventures announced today an investment in the Series B funding round of next-generation blockchain company Vendia. The company developed a serverless, distributed data and code-sharing platform that allows businesses to securely share data with their partners. Vendia’s blockchain technology can be used by automakers like BMW to securely share vehicle data with its trusted partners in real-time across applications, datastores and the cloud.

Eric Walz    May 31, 2022 1:00 PM PT
BMW i Ventures Invests in Vendia, a Next-Gen Blockchain Company Helping Businesses to Securely Share Data With Third Parties

BMW i Ventures, the venture capital arm of the automaker, announced today an investment in the Series B funding round of next-generation blockchain company Vendia. It's the second investment in Vendia from Silicon Vallley-based BMW iVentures, following a previous Series A investment in Feb. 2021.  

Vendia, which is based in San Francisco and Seattle, developed a serverless, distributed data and code-sharing platform that allows businesses to securely share data with their partners. The company is emerging as a leader by bringing the combination of blockchain and serverless cloud computing to companies in the web3 era. 

Vendia believes that data will become the "new currency" in the future, but only if there's a secure and scalable way to share it among parties. 

Vendia's blockchain technology ensures the integrity of the data by using a decentralized architecture and keeping a digital ledger of each time the data is changed. However, one of the  challenges that Vendia and the rest of the industry faced was making this decentralized architecture scalable. 

The reason for this is that each time new data is added to a blockchain, multiple nodes on the network must verify it. This action is required each time data is exchanged, which amounts to terabytes and even petabytes of data being transferred that must be supported by computationally intensive algorithms. 

To solve this challenging problem, Vendia combined two blockchain technologies, a secure and immutability distributed ledger and centralized cloud computing. 

In a traditional blockchain architecture, a distributed network of nodes can be located anywhere and in different forms. But each node in Vendia's blockchain architecture runs entirely in the cloud and is managed by a neutral and secure cloud provider that's accessible to all parties. 

This neutral cloud provider maintains a system of truth for the data in the same way that traditional blockchain works, but in a decentralized way that allows for data sharing between parties.

Before cloud computing became the norm, companies generally kept their data siloed in secure servers and inaccessible to third parties, which made it difficult for businesses to ensure data quality from partners, as well as bring new ones into the loop. 

However in the Internet of Things (IoT) era, many devices are connected to the cloud, so the exchange of data across enterprise partners is critical to trustful collaboration between companies. 

"Vendia offers a unique platform solution for businesses that depend on a multitude of partners, providing them with the ability to onboard partners swiftly, and enabling them to share data with full control and confidence that such data would not be overwritten or manipulated," said Kasper Sage, Managing Partner at BMW i Ventures. "This applies to the automotive sector in particular, and we're excited to continue working with Vendia as they usher in the next generation of blockchain to facilitate collaboration across corporate partners."

Vendia's blockchain technology is designed for real-time data sharing, instead being solely used for data analytics workloads. The company says its the only one that's combining serverless blockchain and Smart APIs in one solution for businesses. 

Vendia's signature product is called "Vendia Share". It's designed to help companies accelerate time to market without worrying about infrastructure or relying on Central IT.

Vendia Share provides a single source of truth for data across cloud and parties and its core technology also allows for high throughput transaction processing at scale, which will be important for automakers like BMW in the future as more vehicles are connected to the cloud and sending and receiving vast amounts of data. 

This is especially true for vehicles that are capable of autonomous driving, as terabytes of data may be shared among millions of vehicles and continuously sent to and from the cloud for processing in real-time. 

Vendia's blockchain technology can be used by automakers like BMW to securely share vehicle data in real-time across applications, datastores, clouds, and its partners. 

Vendia's blockchain platform also allows for data to be collected via a mobile application at each point in the supply chain. Once collected, the files and associated information are securely stored in the cloud on Vendia's multi-party database. Once entered into the database, the data is immutable, meaning it can never be altered, which can help accelerate open collaboration by establishing mutual trust and data truth between all involved parties.

"BMW i Ventures' continued investment in Vendia underscores the market need for a single source of truth for multi-cloud and multi-party data," said Dr. Tim Wagner, CEO and co-founder of Vendia. "This investment will allow us to scale our solutions and offerings to customers and we are excited to have BMW i Ventures along for the ride with us."

Other automakers are also exploring the use of blockchain technology. Volvo Cars, for example, has explored the use of private blockchains to keep track of the data exchanged among multiple third parties. 

BMW i Ventures invests money and resources in startups in the fields of transportation, manufacturing, supply chain and sustainability. The company invests in all stages from seed to growth with a focus on Series A and B funding.

Over the past several years, BMW iVentures invested in electric vehicle charging operator Chargepoint, electric bus maker Proterra, as well as Solid Power, a startup developing advanced solid-state batteries for electric vehicles.

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