• Greek maritime startup Harbor Lab secured €6.1M, one of the largest tickets in the history of maritime tech.
• VentureFriends and Speedinvest led the round, with additional investors such as theDOCK, Signal Ocean Ltd, Motion Ventures, TecPier, Innoport, and Charge VC
• Harbor Lab’s platform streamlines the disbursement account processes and identifies discrepancies, reducing port call expenses by approximately 6% per port call, cutting administration costs by up to 75%.
Greek maritime startup Harbor Lab will use the funds to further develop its shipping disbursement analysis software program which helps companies by automatically calculating and evaluating port expenses against real-time port tariffs.
The port expenses is the second largest cost behind bunkers for a shipping company and amounts annually to more than $120 billion.
“Many digitalisation gaps have been closed across shipping in recent years, however the disbursements process in shipping companies is often inefficient and administration-heavy, with little visibility for the ship operator of the actual costs associated with port calls. Harbor Lab’s DA Tool addresses these issues and can save operators around $2000 per port call, when a vessel operates in the spot market, and $1500 when she is on time charter,” Harbor Lab’s CEO and founder, Antonis Malaxianakis, said in a statement.
Acquiring talent to scale up its core products
Currently having 57 employees, Harbor Lab has 600 vessels whose disbursement accounting is run through the platform, with more than 3500 registered agents and vendors.
The Athens-based company now plans to use the funds to acquire talent to scale up its core products, aiming to bring greater transparency to the maritime industry.
Since launching in March 2020, Harbor Lab has received positive feedback from end users with more than 10,000 port calls processed using the software, with clients reporting a greater visibility of port costs, faster processes and savings of around 6% per call as cost discrepancies are identified, the company said.
According to Venture Friends, while the maritime sector is an old school industry, this is eventually bound to change.
“This can only happen from the inside out and Antonis, the founder, has had a vast experience in the shipping sector dealing with port expenses in various shipping companies in the past. VentureFriends is a founder driven fund and this is what got us excited in the first place, along with the high barriers to enter a tough, peculiar but largely undigitised industry like the maritime sector. We have high conviction that with the new funding round and support the team has access to, they will uncover and solve more problems going forward,” Venture Friends told The Recursive in a statement.
The fresh investment will also enable the Greek company to further disrupt the $200 billion worth maritime disbursement industry.
“We are very excited to further support Harbor Lab in its quest to expand globally while establishing their footprint in major maritime hubs like Copenhagen and Singapore. We are also keen to see the product develop with the utilization of machine learning to digitize ports around the world making shipping more efficient,” Venture Friends’ Apostolos Apostolakis said.
“Harbor Lab is one of those rare companies that can fundamentally disrupt key operating principles of a gigantic industry. By streamlining port calls and port operations across the world, Harbor Lab unlocks massive value for shipping companies and stakeholders in ports. We couldn’t be happier to back the team on their exciting journey,” Philip Specht, partner at Speedinvest, added.