Eniac Sets Sail with Sea Machines
By Vic Singh, Founding General Partner, Eniac Ventures
Our thesis in autonomy is quite simple — we believe that anything that moves will move itself autonomously in the future. This belief serves as the underpinnings of our investments in the first wave of autonomy — autonomous robotics — and its looming impact across large GDP sectors of the global economy. We’ve seeded a handful of autonomous robotics companies across large economic sectors including agriculture (Iron Ox and Vence), logistics (undisclosed), manufacturing (READY Robotics), and transportation (ISEE, Xwing).
Today, we are pleased to announce that we’ve doubled down on our seed investment in Sea Machines to bring autonomy to sea vessels as part of their $10MM Series A, along with our friends at Accomplice, Toyota AI Ventures, NextGen and others. Sea Machines rounds out our autonomous transport portfolio across air, land and now sea. Sea Machines is developing advanced perception and navigation assistance technology and will be rolling out its perception and situational awareness stack aboard one of Maersk’s new Winter Palace ice-class container ships along with a number of customers in the smaller vessel market.
Maritime is ripe for autonomy given the spectrum of vessel types — recreational, work boats, survey boats, security boats, water taxis, and cargo ships — and the cost savings, efficiency gains and safety improvements that are critical to optimizing the operations of sea vessels. We have closely followed the maritime space and were fortunate to partner with the company’s Founder and CEO Michael Johnson and the exceptional team at Sea Machines. When we first met him, we were immediately drawn to his domain expertise as a lifelong engineer and expert in the maritime space. He saw the needs of the customer first-hand and built a company around understanding those needs.
Michael assembled a world-class crew of engineers, roboticists, maritime specialists and recruited a seasoned operating executive in Jim Daly to build a truly innovative and customer-centric company in Boston, a region we are also very bullish on. The level of traction Sea Machines has garnered from the global maritime industry is a telltale sign that the sector may be the next frontier for autonomy. We’re excited to continue to support Michael, Jim, and the team as they scale during this important phase of their journey.
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