Israeli tech firm digitalising the maritime industry drops anchor in London

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Israeli tech firm digitalising the maritime industry drops anchor in London

Founded by two ex-navy officers, maritime AI company Windward provides real-time data to shipping companies to improve efficiency and help manage risk

Windward CEO Ami Daniel and chairman Lord Browne opens the LSE on day of IPO
Windward CEO Ami Daniel and chairman Lord Browne opens the LSE on day of IPO

An Israeli tech company that is digitalising the global maritime industry has listed on the London Stock Exchange, making it the first Israeli technology firm to float in the City for more than five years.

Windward, founded by former navy officers Ami Daniel and Matan Peled, and chaired by Lord Browne, the former boss of BP, is aimed at addressing the key challenges faced by the shipping industry.

The company develops AI technology for analysing maritime risks by providing real-time data, and mapping and analysing information about shipping traffic. This allows users to make informed decisions and manage their risks.

As CEO and co-founder Ami Daniel puts it: “Ninety percent of the world’s trade is transported by sea and some 400 billion containers a year and we are providing different elements of risk recommendations and perspectives on the ships, the cargoes that are being transported and the companies that are transporting them.”

He told Jewish News Business a few days after the IPO: “We firmly believe that maritime AI is going to make a real difference to hundreds of thousands of organisations – from helping gifts to actually arrive by managing the supply chain better, to helping organisations manage regulatory and security risks, to managing and reducing carbon emissions.”

Co-founders Matan Peled and Ami Daniel with Chairman Lord Browne, Windward Ltd, at the opening of the LSE

Windward sought admission to the stock market in an attempt to expand its profile after raising about £34.5 million ($45.7 million) before expenses from institutional investors such as Hargreave Hale. The money raised will fund further development and additional data sources, as well as helping to boost sales and marketing. The shares opened at 162.5p and ended the day at 170p.

Windward is not seen as a disruptor of the maritime industry but more of a digitilisation partner to help overcome the difficulties it faces and has been welcomed by the industry.

Having Lord Browne as our chairman goes a long way for the company and for me personally – for a young CEO to work with this level of chairman is probably unprecedented in the London market.

Daniel explains: “There are three major tailwinds for our business which are reflective of the challenges and opportunities in this industry. One, it is becoming more complicated to trade from a regulatory perspective – you are required to do lots more checking. Increasing regulations around sanctions compliance provide strong tailwinds for our offering.

“Two: decarbonisation. It’s clear that shipping needs to be decarbonised, it’s just not clear how. Shipping emits 3 percent of the world’s carbon emission but it is expected to grow to be 10 percent of the world’s carbon emissions, unless something is done. One way to reduce it is by going to new engines and new fuels but this will take a long time. The other way is via better commercial decisions – how can you move your cargo from A to B in the best way to reduce carbon emissions? And we believe you can do this by reducing carbon by 20 percent and this is part of our road map.

Emissions (Photo by veeterzy on Unsplash)

“Three: the supply chain woes. These are major issues which has never been at this level. Container freight has never been more expensive and less reliable.”

Windward is planning to launch products next year to solve these problems.

Founded in 2010, Windward has grown dramatically, with revenues more than doubling from £4.4 million in 2017 to £11 million in 2020 [and by end of September 2021 recurring revenues had grown to £14.9 million on an annualised basis]. Customers include BP, Shell, HSBC and Danske Bank. It is headquartered in Israel, with offices in the UK, United States, Denmark and the UAE.

Lord Browne has chaired the company since 2019. He is chairman of BeyondNetZero, a climate growth equity venture established in partnership with General Atlantic, and co-chairman of the Prime Minister’s Council on Science and Technology. He is also a trustee of the Holocaust Educational Trust.

Daniel says: “Having Lord Browne as our chairman goes a long way for the company and for me personally – for a young CEO to work with this level of chairman is probably unprecedented in the London market.

“He’s awesome and we are very proud to have him. He is active and committed and involved in the company.”

Daniel, 37, has temporarily relocated from Israel to London. He says: “We had one day of celebrating [after the IPO] but now we are doubling down, we are only 1 percent done. We are thrilled to get this milestone, now let’s double and triple down and build a world leader.”




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