Investments in Technology: Maritime

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Shipping Industry is taking a positive turn towards technology. The shift though has been from past few years only; however is now in full swing and a big credit goes to the investments pouring in at various levels from the stakeholders. This has allowed the sector to welcome digital revolution and keep pace with other industrial sectors that are transforming at much faster pace.

Below mentioned are some major investments made during 2017-2019 (March) that has put the transformation of shipping sector altogether in a different gear:

  • Deloitte last year announced that it was raising $100 million to launch a supply chain platform using ethereum blockchain.
Technology Blockchain and IoT
Amount $100 Million
Stakeholders Deloitte
  • Blockchain startup Fr8 is also preparing to raise $60 million through an initial coin offering to create its own blockchain logistics platform.
Technology Blockchain
Amount $60 Million
Stakeholders Fr8
  • A Nova-scotia based developer of digital solutions-Global Spatial Technology Solutions has raised $2 Million in a seed-stage financing that was backed up by Innovacorp and Ecofuel, Canadian venture capital firms. Some other private investors were also involved. According to the reports the funds are to be used to further develop maritime analytics, logistics and surveillance platform.
Technology Maritime Analytics
Amount $2 Million
Stakeholders Global Spatial Technology Solutions, Innovacorp, Ecofuel
  • With the opening of Singapore Maritime Technology Conference at Singapore Maritime Week 2018, the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) signed 5 MoUs and two agreements with local and international partners. Investment of $1.1bn is included in the Tuas Terminal Phase II development deal signed with Penta Ocean, Hyundai and Boskalis. Another deal was awarded to a group of ST Electronics and Kongsberg Norcontrol to carry out Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System (NGVTMS) Innovation Programmed. The deal is awarded under Maritime Innovation and Technology Fund, with co-investment of $7.5 million.
Technology/Field Traffic Management System
Amount $1.1bn – Tuas Terminal Phase II development  $7.5 million -out Next Generation Vessel Traffic Management System (NGVTMS) Innovation Program
Stakeholders Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), Penta Ocean, Hyundai and Boskalis; ST Electronics and Kongsberg Norcontrol
  • In January 2019, Daphne Technology SA raised 4.9 million Swiss Francs to test filters for shipping exhausts. Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures LLC, Belgium’s The Innovation Fund SA and a Swiss business angel were the major investors. With Sulphur Cap 2020 round the corner, investment in such innovations can help the shipping industry to a great extent.
Technology/Field Green Technology; Filters for Exhausts
Amount 4.9 million Swiss Francs
Stakeholders  Daphne Technology SA, Saudi Aramco Energy Ventures LLC, Belgium’s The Innovation Fund SA
  • AAWA initiative by Rolls Royce The Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Application Initiative, a € 6.6 Million project is aimed to build preliminary designs for next generation advanced ship solution. The project is funded by a Finnish funding agency for technology and innovation- Tekes.
Technology Automation
Amount € 6.6 Million
Stakeholders Rolls Royce and Tekes
  • In November 2018, Wilhelmsen announced the launch of Raa Labs- a project backed by $2 million seed investment. The investment is split between Wilhelmsen group and Wallenius Wilhelmsen. The Raa Labs is focused on offering digital solution to meet shipping sector’s growing challenges and realize further opportunities in technology. The Wilhelmsen group has also launched Massterly- world’s first autonomous shipping firm.
Technology Digital Solutions
Amount $2 million
Stakeholders Wilhelmsen group and Wallenius Wilhelmsen
  • In 2018, a Boston based technology firm-Sea Machines Robotics announced to have raised USD 10 million for the development of autonomous solutions for maritime industry. The investment was led by Accomplice and Eniac Ventures with participation from Toyota AI Ventures, Brunswick Corp, TechNexus Venture Collaborative; NextGen VP, Geekdom Fund; LaunchCapital; LDV Capital and others.
Technology Automation
Amount $10 Million
Stakeholders Sea Machines Robotics, Toyota AI Ventures, Brunswick Corp, TechNexus Venture Collaborative; NextGen VP, Geekdom Fund; LaunchCapital; LDV Capital
  • In February 2018, the Dutch Bank ING and European Investment Bank announced a €150 million from each party to support projects with a “green innovation element” in Europe’s maritime sector. The total investment thus reached to €300 million.
Technology Green Technology/Green Shipping
Amount $€300 million
Stakeholders Dutch Bank ING and European Investment Bank
  • Orca Al Ltd. recently announced raising $2.6 Million seed investment. The start-up develops sensor-based imaging technology to prevent collision between maritime vessels. The investment was led by MizMaa Ventures, a Tel-Aviv based capital firm along with participation from The Dock Innovation Hub and US-based marine shipping company Ray Car Carriers Ltd.
Technology Sensor Based Imaging Technology
Amount $2.6 Million
Stakeholders Orca Al Ltd. MizMaa Ventures, Dock Innovation Hub, Ray Car Carriers Ltd.
  • Olympia Group announced the investment of amount of € 4 million over the 2-year period 2018 – 2019 in to the start-up METIS Cyber Space Technology SA. METIS offers innovative tech solutions in the fields of IoT, Cloud Computing, AI, Machine Learning, and Electronic Engineering for global maritime sector.
Technology IoT, AI, ML etc.
Amount € 4 Million
Stakeholders Olympia Group, METIS Cyber Space Technology SA
  • Start-up Shone recently raised a $4 million round to develop autonomous tech for container ships, including computer vision, signal processing and behavioral analysis.
Technology Automation
Amount $4 million
Stakeholders Shone

The above collected data shows that Automation, Green shipping and Blockchain are the crucial domains where investors have put their faith and significant innovations are in progress to pull out shipping sector from its traditional operative methods. Backed with continuous financial support for technological evolution of the sector, it is for sure that a revolutionized maritime is no longer a distant vision.

Sea News Feature, April 1

Baibhav Mishra
Author: Baibhav Mishra

Associate Editor, Sea News