Starboard Maritime Intelligence attracts weighty backers for expansion plans

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Some of the company’s technology to tackle illegal fishing being applied.
Photo: Supplied / Starboard Maritime Intelligence

Marine software firm Starboard Maritime Intelligence has the backing of some big names to help it expand its software as a service (SaaS) vessel surveillance product.

New Zealand-based investors Altered Capital (lead), Icehouse Ventures, Invest South, Soul Capital, and Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation, as well as US-based SeaAhead provided $5 million in seed funding to help Starboard develop and expand its market.

Starboard’s software was designed to tackle illegal fishing, trans-national crime, prevent biosecurity outbreaks and to protect at-sea assets.

Starboard chief executive Trent Fulcher said the software was developed alongside government and intergovernmental users in New Zealand, Australia and the Pacific, but there was potential to expand with a growing number of industry analysts in the Pacific region, as well as other markets.

“The maritime domain awareness space is a legacy market and ripe for disruption, with important information sharing between the many existing systems difficult not only with an organisation but across regions and countries,” he said.

“So Starboard’s ability to share information really, really easily about risks and threats to national borders is really one of Starboard’s excelling, selling features.

“Analysts gain more valuable information, more quickly leading to better decisions about which vessels to focus on.”

The technology is used in the Marshall Islands.
Photo: Supplied / Starboard Maritime Intelligence

He said the ‘blue economy’ was growing rapidly and estimated to reach over $5 trillion by 2030, as economic development increasing maritime security threats, environmental damage and regulatory pressures.

“On a regular basis we’re identifying illegal fishing behaviour for fisheries agencies, illegal goods that are coming into countries that are looked after by customs authorities, drugs, contraband.”

Altered Capital partner Craig Mawdsley said the global maritime surveillance market was predicted to reach $67 billion by 2030.

“We are seeing a growing need for greater operational efficiency and collaboration,” Mawdsley said.

Fulcher said Starboard was already a global business, and would use the funding to expand its sales and marketing team into North America, Asia and Europe.

He expected Starboard’s (SaaS) to see annual recurring revenue double over the next year to $4m, with staff expected to grow by a third to 30 by the end of this year.

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