Boston-based Sea Machines Robotics, a developer of autonomous control and advanced perception systems for the marine and maritime industries, closed a $10-million Series A investment led by Accomplice and Eniac Ventures, with participation from Toyota AI Ventures; Brunswick Corp., through investment partner TechNexus Venture Collaborative; NextGen VP, Geekdom Fund; LaunchCapital; LDV Capital and others.
The investment marks one of the largest venture rounds for a marine- and maritime-focused technology company and brings the total capital Sea Machines has raised to $12.5 million. Sea Machines will use the funds to expand the sales and global reach of its recently released line of products, grow the R&D and engineering teams, roll out new product feature sets, and further the company’s lead in developing advanced situational awareness systems for vessels.
The industrial marine sector encompasses a broad domain of significant industries, such as maritime transportation, offshore energy, and commercial fishing and aquaculture. Though each are major contributors to the global economy, they commonly operate near or below break-even, in large part due to continued reliance on 20th-century methodologies and technologies. Today’s autonomous technology offers proven solutions to these challenges, and is already being used to retool and modernize the industry for the better.
At Toyota AI Ventures, we believe that autonomous mobility can help improve people’s lives and create new capabilities—whether on land, in the air or at sea. Sea Machines’ autonomous technology and advanced perception systems can reduce costs, improve efficiency and enhance safety in the multi-billion dollar commercial shipping industry. This marks our first investment in the maritime industry, and we’re excited to embark on this journey with Sea Machines.—Jim Adler, founding managing director, Toyota AI Ventures
Sea Machines is currently developing advanced perception and navigation assistance technology for a range of vessel types, including container ships. In the first quarter, the company will initiate testing of its perception and situational awareness technology aboard one of A.P. Moller-Maersk’s new-build ice-class container ships.
In October, Sea Machines released its introductory line of autonomous command and remote control systems, developed for the demanding challenges of vessels serving the offshore commercial, scientific and government applications. The SM product series is available now and can be installed aboard existing or new-build commercial vessels with return on investment typically seen within a year.