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Microsoft backs $11m Nautilus AI platform

Microsoft is supporting the development of artificial intelligence (AI) to improve fuel efficiency on ships with a US $11 million in Series A funding for Nautilus Labs.

{mprestriction ids="1,2"}The funding will be used to develop Nautilus Labs’ platform that helps shipping companies to reduce fuel consumption by up to 10 per cent in a single voyage and 30 per cent with wider deployment. The platform provides real-time insights into fleet performance and ways to improve voyage economics. Data is unified from any source on ship or shore and contextualised with AIS, meteorological, and other third-party data.

As well as Microsoft’s venture arm M12, Nautilus has received funding from Root Ventures, Quiet Capital, Trail Mix, and Amplifier Lab, bringing the total to $14.5 million since Nautilus was founded in 2016.

“Nautilus is creating an economic imperative for shipping businesses to reduce their fuel consumption,” explained Matt Heider, chief executive officer, 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.”

To date, Nautilus has signed with several fleets, including Teekay, Dorian LPG, and Eagle Bulk Shipping.

Matt Goldstein, partner at M12, stated: “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. 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.”{/mprestriction}

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