Speaking at the MarineTech conference during Singapore Maritime Week, Ruma Balasubramanian, Managing Director, Southeast Asia, Google Cloud, said that she sees venture capital funding for MarineTech taking the same course as has been seen for FinTech.
“There was an astounding $11.3 billion in funding in 2021, and marine tech, and that doubled from the previous year. So, we're seeing this trajectory, very, very similar to the FinTech space,” she said. FinTech funding hit some $210bn in 2021.
She cited the example of project44 a supply chain visibility company Google Cloud works with that raised some $420m in funding from venture capital in January this year alone.
“So incredible developments around the venture capital space. And when you know, the bankers are interested in your industry, you've got something really, really special,” Balasubramanian said.
Technology development in maritime attracting the of the public and government sector, large companies, and venture capitalists. “And what all this leads us to believe, is that the rate of digital technology adoption in the maritime sector is accelerating. In fact, it's three years ahead of where it's supposed to be,” she stated.
Meanwhile Google Cloud announced a new collaboration with Ocean Network Express (ONE) to embed AI across the company’s business.
ONE is establishing an AI Center of Excellence (CoE) to pilot and scale AI initiatives and will be leveraging Google Cloud’s data analytics, machine learning (ML) and AI technologies, alongside advisory expertise from Deloitte Consulting Southeast Asia (Deloitte).
Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Transport, Chee Hong Tat, in his keynote at the conference said: “I welcome the collaboration between Ocean Network Express and Google Cloud to deploy Artificial Intelligence (AI) to optimize their container shipping operations and enhance customer experience. The use of AI and Machine Learning technologies build on the digitalisation foundation that maritime companies have embarked on and developed over the past few years, as part of their transformation to enable higher productivity and achieve better service levels.”
Kosuke Wada, Executive Vice President of ONE commented, “We recognize that our shipping services underpin smooth economic activity and believe that we must constantly raise industry standards. ONE has therefore decided to deepen our collaboration with Google Cloud and continue working with Deloitte after their stellar support during our initial phase of digital transformation.”
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