Five new maritime startups to watch in 2020

Five new maritime startups to watch in 2020

Which startups founded in 2019 are ones to watch in 2020 and beyond?

People often overestimate what they can achieve in a year and underestimate what they can achieve in a decade. While many are drawn to startups on the promise of a fast exit, the truth is that it takes an average of 9 years for a SaaS startup, and 11 years for a hardware startup to exit.

While it may take a decade for a startup to make it, they are emitting signals of success or failure from day one. We spend our days tracking those signals (so you don’t have to). Here, we have outlined the five maritime startups founded in 2019 that we believe are ones to watch.

This list is testament to having the right support system in place for a young company; three of the startups featured have graduated from an accelerator, and one is a corporate venture.


Dynamic rerouting of ocean freight

30% of containers arrive late due to operational delays and overbooking. Bad weather, rolled cargo, or delays in terminals can leave shippers scrambling to find alternative routing in the face of a long delay for their cargo. 

OceanOps is SaaS platform that helps shippers to mitigate container delays by dynamically rerouting their cargo. The platform presents a shipper with all of the rerouting options available, combining land and ocean legs, to make it as easy and cost effective as possible to mitigate delayed cargo. The Rotterdam based company is alumni of leading startup accelerator Antler and boasts a founding team with a wealth of experience at major container carriers.


The new standard for container operations

Millions of containers are stored in terminals worldwide each year, waiting to be loaded onto a ship or their next mode of transport. Each time a container is moved it costs the terminal money, making optimising the positioning and movement of containers an important factor in the profitability of a terminal.

eYard, a graduate of Next Logistics Accelerator, has developed an AI-driven algorithm for optimizing container positions and reducing the number of unproductive moves in the terminal. The algorithm is trained with real container transactions from the terminal. The results are displayed in a cloud based interface that gives management the tools and information they need to make better optimisation decisions.


Drones for marine logistics

Currently, if a ship needs spare parts or supplies it has three options; go in to port and load supplies from the quayside, anchor offshore and wait for a supply boat, or have supplies flown out to the ship by helicopter. All of those options are expensive, with the latter being so expensive that it is not viable except in the case of emergencies. In the offshore industry, helicopters are the only way to move supplies and parts out to rigs.

With backing from Entrepreneur First, Singapore based F-Drones is building the world’s first transition drone for marine logistics. The autonomous drone takes off and lands vertically, but transitions to fixed wing flying. It can carry a 100kg load 100 km offshore and saves 80% of the cost, time and manpower of traditional offshore logistics.


A cashless app for seafarers

Currently, the majority of the world’s 1.6million seafarers are paid in US dollars, meaning they incur high transaction fees when sending money to their families at home. Millions of dollars is carried in cash on board the world’s shipping fleet, this carries a risk of piracy and theft, but also takes a lot of the captain’s time to manage.

MarCoPay, a startup jointly owned by NYK Line in Japan and Philippines business conglomerate Transnational Diversified Group, is building a fintech platform that will enable seafarers to manage, receive, spend and remit their salaries in the form of e-money. This minimises the use of cash on board and makes it possible for crew to send money home to their families quickly and cheaply, even while they are at sea.

Want to learn more about the maritime venture landscape?

From navigation to chartering, bunkers to freight forwarding, digitalisation has touched every facet of the shipping industry in the last decade. As the industry’s transformation from analogue to digital steps into higher gear, it is increasingly catching the attention of entrepreneurs and investors looking for big problems to solve.

In Shiptech 2020: The state of venture investment activity in the maritime industry, we explore 2019’s maritime startup activity, including:

  • An overview of venture funding
  • The notable investments made in the year
  • New entrants to the market
  • The technology trends to watch in 2020

You can download a free copy of the 27 page report below.

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