Greek maritime software start-up Harbor Lab raises $16m

Greek startup maritime software company Harbor Lab has raised a $16m in a Series A funding round led by European VC Atomico.

With participation from existing investors Notion Capital, Venture Friends, SpeedInvest and The Dock, and new investors Endeavor Catalyst and maritime VC TMV, the round follows a Seed round of €6.1m and takes total funding for the Greek startup to some $22.5m. Atomico Partner Ben Blume will join the board.

Harbor Lab mentions in a statement that the shipping industry faces a big problem with mostly manual accounting methods. Many shipping companies still rely on to grapple with the complex web of costs that arise from their vessel’s port calls.

Port calls, a major expense for ships, can reach $2.2M per vessel per year.

This outdated system causes inefficiency, inflated operational costs, and lots of disputes and late payments.

New environmental law and mounting geopolitical crises are further adding to the complications, dangers, and unpredictability in costs of transporting cargo.

Every year, there are over 4 million cargo port visits worldwide, spread across about 4,000 ports. These visits involve paying fees to port authorities and local agents for essential services like spare parts and visas.

Varying costs at different ports worldwide make it challenging for shipping companies to predict expenses accurately. Factors like local politics and economics, changes in currency and exchange rates, and the global economic situation contribute to this unpredictability.

As it is claimed by the company, “Harbor Lab enables a single individual to oversee disbursements for up to 50 vessels, a significant improvement on the previous ratio of 1 to 6 vessels.”

“The platform mitigates invoicing errors and overpayments by cross-referencing port call expenses with real-time official port tariffs from global port authorities, reducing the margin of error from 20% to just 3% per port call,” says Harbor Lab in its website.