Microsoft among investors as Nautilus raises $11m for maritime AI

Maritime artificial intelligence (AI) start-up Nautilus has announced the completion of a funding round which has seen the company raise US$11 million from investors including Microsoft’s corporate venture arm M12 (formerly Microsoft Ventures).

Other investors in the New-York based company include seed investment firm Root Ventures, Quiet Capital, Trail Mix, and Amplifier Lab, which brings Nautilus’ total funding raised to date to $14.5 million since it was founded in 2016.

Nautilus has developed a technology platform for shipping companies that aggregates data from on board the ship and combines it with meteorological, oceanographic, and commercial data to build a fleet profile.

The company says that the data gathered is processed using machine learning and artificial intelligence systems to provide real-time analytics, alerts and decision support for vessel operators, with the goal of minimising fuel consumption and optimising fleet performance over time.

Fuel reduction
Matt Heider, Chief Executive Officer of Nautilus

“Nautilus is creating an economic imperative for shipping businesses to reduce their fuel consumption,” said Matt Heider, Chief Executive Officer of Nautilus.

“Think of us as the artificially intelligent first mate that helps the captain and the crew to always take the profit-maximising (and fuel-reducing) decision. Over thousands of voyages for hundreds of ships, we’re able to generate meaningful savings while bringing transparency and accountability to the industry.”

The company says that it has already signed deals with shipping companies like Teekay, Dorian LPG, and Eagle Bulk Shipping to implement the system, and that it has demonstrated fuel emissions reductions of more than 10% on a single vessel voyage through the application of its technologies.

“By applying machine learning and artificial intelligence to ocean commerce, Nautilus is upending traditional maritime shipping inefficiencies as it builds towards supporting a more sustainable global trade environment,” said Matt Goldstein, partner at new investor M12.

“We are proud supporters of the Nautilus team’s mission and believe they possess the tools and experience needed to digitise one of the world’s oldest industries.”

The new funding will be invested in building further engineering, data science, and product development expertise as the company looks to develop even deeper predictive decision support for shoreside teams and crews. The start-up says that it expects to triple in size over the next year as it builds out the business.

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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