Sea Machines lands US$12 million investment from cleantech VC firm

Sea Machines lands US$12 million investment from cleantech VC firm

Sea Machines has secured a US$12 million investment from Emerald Technology Ventures, a pioneering cleantech venture capital firm. Joining this funding round are notable investors including Nabtesco Technology Ventures (NTV), Chevron Technology Ventures, RKKVC, Level 2 Ventures and IMC Ventures. This substantial investment presents a valuable opportunity for Sea Machines to bolster its technological capabilities and extend its reach in the market.

Headquartered in Boston, Sea Machines Robotics is a global leader in autonomous piloting systems designed to enhance the efficiency, productivity and capabilities of sea vessels. Its proprietary technology enables onboard computers to maintain precise control over vessel position, steering and speed during voyages. Additionally, it can dynamically reroute vessels to avoid traffic and obstacles while leveraging streaming data to optimize operations. The company also develops solutions for computer vision, remote command and control, and advanced data collection along shipping routes, among other applications.

Facilitating emissions reductions

Sea Machines’ innovative solutions are swiftly capturing a portion of the rapidly expanding market for autonomous shipping, which has become increasingly vital for enhancing resilience within the maritime sector – a cornerstone of global trade. Estimates suggest a robust annual growth rate of 9.6% in the autonomous ships sector from 2022 to 2030.

The transition towards autonomy is driven by various factors, including cost pressures, labour shortages, safety concerns, fuel efficiency and reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. Of these, emissions reduction is of paramount importance for the shipping industry, which faces significant challenges in decarbonization – an area in which Emerald plays a pivotal role. While clean fuels such as hydrogen hold promise for fostering a greener industry in the long term, their effectiveness hinges on advancements in operational efficiency, akin to the solutions offered by Sea Machines, to facilitate emissions reductions in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Emerald has a robust track record funding startups that are pushing the envelope on industrial efficiency as a lever for achieving climate and sustainability goals. Recent deals in this space include investments in wind turbine optimizer eologix and agriculture disruptor xFarm.

Japan-based NTV is the venture arm of Nabtesco, a leader in industrial technology solutions, and is one of Emerald’s corporate venture capital-as-a-service clients. Under this arrangement, Emerald manages NTV’s deal flow and advises it on the best investments to match its needs and strategic priorities.

Sea Machines Robotics is a global leader in autonomous piloting systems. (Image courtesy: Sea Machines)


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