Orca AI, the AI-based navigation and collision avoidance solution, has raised $13m in Series A funding, taking its total raised to over $15.5m. Orca AI’s solution is the first step in introducing autonomous features to vessels already on the water.
The round was led by OCV Partners, with Principal Zohar Loshitzer joining Orca AI’s board. Mizmaa Ventures and Playfair Capital also featured.
This latest raise will be used to support the company’s investment in technology, international expansion and growth.
Orca AI was founded by naval technology experts, Yarden Gross and Dor Raviv, and is trusted by many of the major shipping and oil companies including Kirby, Ray Car Carriers and NYK to prevent some of the 4,000 annual marine incidents, causing loss of lives, environmental hazards such as oil spills and billions of dollars in damages. These incidents are largely due to human error, which has contributed to 75-96% of collisions, and continues to rise, as the Coronavirus pandemic makes it harder for regular crew changes.
Orca AI provides an AI-navigation and vessel tracking system to support ships in difficult to navigate situations and congested waterways by supplementing its existing onboard sensors with vision sensors, thermal and low light cameras, as well as AI-powered algorithms which constantly analyse the environment and alert crew to dangerous situations. The data collected provides risk insights to shipping and insurance companies.
On the raise, Yarden Gross, CEO and co-founder said: “The maritime industry has come leaps and bounds in recent years, but is still far behind aviation with technological innovations. Ships deal with increasingly congested waterways, severe weather and low-visibility conditions creating difficult navigation experiences with often expensive cargo. The recent events in the Suez Canal have created more attention than ever on the maritime industry, highlighting its importance to us all. Our solution provides unique insight and data to any ship in the world, helping to reduce these challenging situations and collisions in the future.”
Zohar Loshitzer, Principal from OCV added: “Commercial shipping has historically been a highly regulated and traditional industry. However, we are now “witnessing a positive change in adoption of tech solutions to increase safety and efficiency. There are a rising number of incidents that are primarily caused by human error, which technology is significantly able to reduce. Orca AI has the perfect team to solve this, as it consists of professionals with extensive marine background and technology experience. Orca AI has created a revolutionary safety solution that has an impact from day one on operations, empowering ships’ crews to perform at a higher level of safety instead of waiting years for full-fledged autonomous solutions that would require a substantial shift both in regulation and industry practices.”