Orca AI raises $23m

Orca AI reports that it has raised $23 million in new funding, led by OCV Partners and Mizmaa Ventures, to take its total raised to date to nearly $40 million.

Orca AI offers a range of technologies supporting autonomous vessel operations. In 2022, it worked with Japanese shipping company NYK to complete the world’s first autonomous commercial ship voyage, and is now working on its next generation fully autonomous ship technology, expected to be rolled out in 2025.

The platform features a fully automated watchkeeper that processes multiple sources of visual information during navigation at sea, mimicking and supporting human watchkeeping in real-time. The company says that, working with shipping companies including MSC, NYK, Maersk, and Seaspan, its technology has helped to reduce close encounters by 33% and crossing events by 40% across 15 million nautical miles.

Orca AI says that optimisation of operations to avoid unnecessary manoeuvres and speed drops has also created significant reductions in fuel burn and emissions, claiming that the improved navigational decisions delivered using the system resulted in an average $100,000 – 300,000 saving in fuel per vessel per year (3-5%) and 172,716 tonnes of CO2 reduction last year.

“Innovations in high-speed, low cost, global connectivity, such as with Elon Musk’s Starlink have opened the door for advanced technologies such as AI on board vessels to improve operational efficiency and safety,” said Yarden Gross, CEO and Co-founder of Orca AI.

“It’s a welcomed pivotal moment, as despite the majority of global cargo transported by sea, the maritime industry has lagged behind industries such as aviation when it comes to keeping up with technological innovations.”

“Ships deal with increasingly congested waterways, severe weather, and low-visibility conditions creating difficult navigation experiences with often expensive cargo. We’ve recently proven forward-thinking companies that adopt our technology have seen huge operational improvements from year to year, in creating a safer and more efficient shipping industry. These Improvements are crucial for shipping companies in meeting corporate sustainability targets, but importantly the benefits are far-reaching beyond just the customers.”

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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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