Seadronix, a South Korean startup AI startup that develops autonomous navigation solutions, has picked up $5.8 million in a Series A extension round. The financing round was led by SoftBank Ventures Asia (recently invested in Ohouse) and takes the total funding raised by the company to $8.3 million.
The proceeds of the round will be used by Seadronix to grow its team of 30 employees and enter the global markets such as Europe and Singapore, where it operates small ports.
“Our mission is to be an AI platform that ensures the safety and environmental protection of the ocean,” said Byeolteo Park, cofounder and CEO of Seadronix, in a statement. “With this funding, we hope to recruit more talents in AI and sensor fusion and navigation, and accelerate our global market penetration plan.”
What does Seadronix offer?
Seadronix was founded in 2015 by Donghoon Kim, Hankeun Kim and Byeolteo Park, with the aim to develop an AI-powered autonomous navigation system. One of the critical the problems of the existing unmanned ship solution was the cost. The sensors that are needed to be mounted on the ship was too expensive and it was impossible for the customers to afford them. Seadronix solved this issue by replacing these expensive sensors with the vision-based deep learning system.
The startup’s target market are global shipbuilders, smart port operators and ship operators want to digitise their operation process. It develops AI software to help cargo ships navigate with minimal involvement from sailors, similar to autonomous cars.
The company’s two main products include an AI-based berthing monitoring system (AVISS) that uses vision sensors and lidar to help large vessels berth and an AI-based navigation monitoring system (NAVISS) that can be retrofitted to cargo ships and support ships in navigating. As per the company, its proprietary systems could solve 75% of maritime accidents that occur due to human errors and environmental issues.
Its AI technology-based Avoidance Control System assists ships to travel along the route to the destination. The system calcuate the vessel condition and obstacles that exist on the sea. The situation calculation is based on a variety of learning data for its higher predictability rate for safe marine travel.
Collaboration with ports
The company’s small ports are located in many global regions. Currently, the company is operating in four ports across Korea. A smart port uses technologies such as AI, big data, Internet of Things and 5G. With these, the ports can provide more security and save energy by digitalising the way huge ships enter docks and handle logistics at the ports.
As per the company, these small ports have adopted innovative technologies. Some examples include the Port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, Port of Hamburg in Germany and Port of Singapore.