HomeEntrepreneurSoftBank Ventures Asia Leads $5.8 Million Funding In Korean Autonomous Transport Startup

SoftBank Ventures Asia Leads $5.8 Million Funding In Korean Autonomous Transport Startup


SoftBank Ventures Asia, the enterprise arm of Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group, led a $5.8 million spherical in South Korean autonomous navigation startup Seadronix, bringing its complete funding up to now to $8.3 million.

Based in 2015, Seadronix develops AI software program to assist cargo ships navigate with minimal involvement from sailors, much like autonomous automobiles. The corporate’s two major merchandise embody a monitoring system to assist massive vessels berth at docks and a separate monitoring system to assist vessels navigate in open waters, presently working in 4 ports throughout Korea.

“Our mission is to be an AI platform that ensures the security and environmental safety of the ocean,” mentioned Byeolteo Park, cofounder and CEO of Seadronix, in an announcement. “With this funding, we hope to recruit extra skills in AI and sensor fusion and navigation, and speed up our international market penetration plan.”

Seadronix’s proprietary methods might remedy 75% of maritime accidents that stem from “human errors and environmental points,” resembling carbon dioxide leaks that may trigger deadly explosions, based on the startup.

The autonomous transport trade in Asia has seen a wave of funding over the previous few years, dovetailing with a world push in the direction of “smarter” autonomous transportation. Toyota AI Ventures, for instance, launched a $100 million fund in 2019 for autonomous mobility, masking the transport trade with an funding in Singapore-based Sea Machines.

Final August, Boston Consulting Group’s innovation arm, BCG Digital Ventures, invested in three Singapore-based maritime tech startups. Quest Ventures, additionally primarily based within the city-state, launched a $7.5 million maritime know-how fund final 12 months, in collaboration with Singapore-based ShipsFocus.

Based in 2000, SoftBank Ventures Asia has roughly $1.8 billion in belongings beneath administration, spanning over 300 firms, specializing in “ICT investments” resembling AI, IoT and good robotics.

Final December, SoftBank Ventures Asia invested $150 million in metaverse platform Zepeto, operated by Naver Z, a unit of Korean billionaire Lee Hae-jin’s web big Naver.

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