Shipping insurtech Orca AI secured $23 mn in new funding

Orca AI, a Tel-Aviv-based shipping insurtech company, has secured $23 mn in new funding, bringing its total raised to $38.6 mn.

OCV Partners and MizMaa Ventures led the funding round, with participation from Santa Barbara Venture Partners, Playfair Capital, and other strategic investors.

Founded in 2018 by Yarden Gross and Dor Raviv, Orca’s AI platform aims to enhance voyage safety, efficiency, and sustainability for ships and fleets (see Shipping Safety & Key Risks for Marine & Cargo Insurance).

Orca uses continuous monitoring to improve fleet safety and reduce environmental impact. In the previous year, Orca AI helped save 3-5% on fuel and reduced CO2 emissions by over 170,000 tons. It also helps crews anticipate and counter threats like drone attacks and piracy.

Shipping insurtech Orca AI secured $23 mn new funding

CEO Yarden Gross noted that advancements in global connectivity, such as Elon Musk’s Starlink, have enabled the integration of AI on vessels, boosting operational efficiency and safety. He highlighted that the maritime industry, which handles most global cargo, has lagged behind sectors like aviation in adopting technological innovations.

New technologies are vital for shipping companies to meet sustainability goals and offer broader benefits beyond customer service.

Hemi Zucker, Managing Partner at OCV, stated that while autopilot and collision prevention have advanced in aviation and automotive industries, the shipping industry still holds significant potential for autonomous ships.

According to Marine & Cargo Insurance Market Outlook, fire and explosion incidents cause the most expensive insurance claims in the marine industry, while at a time of rising exposures and inflation, cargo damage is the most frequent cause of loss.

While these results are gratifying, several clouds appear on the horizon. More than a year after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the growth of the shadow oil tanker fleet is the latest consequence to challenge shipowners, their crew and insurers.

Catherine Leung, Co-Founder at MizMaa, emphasized the environmental advantages of the Orca AI platform, which has earned the trust of leading shipping companies worldwide.

The funding round follows Orca’s recent partnership with the global marine insurer North Standard.

Colin Gillespie, Global Head of Loss Prevention at North Standard, praised Orca AI for enhancing situational awareness on the bridge, reducing close-quarter situations, and thereby minimizing collisions.

Orca AI is already in use by shipping companies globally, and investors believe it will quickly provide safety and operational benefits to those who adopt it.

Yana Keller  by Yana Keller