DBX, a dry bulk commodity analytics start-up officially launched earlier this year from Signal Ventures’ incubation programme, has now initiated a round of seed funding.
DBX uses satellite technology and artificial intelligence (AI) to fuse multiple data sources and provide insights into coal, iron ore, bauxite and alumina supply and demand. Customers include commodity producers and traders, banks, hedge funds, steel mills and power utilities.
“Progress at DBX has been fast and we are now adding metals, further minerals and grains onto our platform,” said DBX Chief Executive Alexandre Claude.
“We have developed a unique product for a hitherto opaque market. By combining vessel movements and cargo tracking with customs data, satellite observations of commodity stockpiles and cleaning and refining unstructured third-party data, we are opening up trading opportunities and increasing supply chain efficiency.”
Signal Ventures, the strategic investment arm of the Signal Group, has supported the company’s development by offering access to data processing capabilities, vessel port calls, emissions, port and weather information, venture capital, mentoring and hands-on team building support. Business support including accounting, legal and HR activities was also offered, so the founders could focus on their product.
OilX, an oil commodity analytics firm previously launched by Signal, was also involved in the start-up incubation programme to support DBX, due to the similarities between what DBX is bringing to the dry bulk space and the services provided by OilX for oil markets.
“It can often be a struggle for early-stage start-ups to recruit data scientists and programmers, but as an established organisation with an ecosystem of shipping and maritime trade related platforms, we are able to offer interesting and varied opportunities to some of the brightest and best brains in the market,” said Signal Ventures’ VP, Nikolas Pyrgiotis.