By utilising its super-app and low-code developer framework to enable the likes of telehealth, video conferencing, remote assistance, tracking and monitoring for ships, the platform enhances connectivity between ship-shore teams
14 March 2023, London – FrontM, the “Intelligent Collaboration. Anywhere®” platform for the maritime industry, has raised $1.5 million in a pre-Series A funding round led by Jenson Funding Partners, Tradeworks.vc, Motion Ventures and a syndicate of MarTech investors. With the investment, FrontM will accelerate its mission to solve the connectivity and efficiency challenges that maritime businesses and their mobile workforces or customers face when operating in remote and low bandwidth environments.
Two million seafarers and up to 50 million remote workers in various ocean industries face day-to-day collaboration barriers, leading to poor crew productivity, engagement and welfare.
FrontM is the maritime super-app platform and app marketplace, optimised for low bandwidth environments, with an exciting array of partner integrations and app rollouts in the pipeline. It operates a multi-sided business model that connects ships and crews with maritime services and solutions providers, using Edge Computing and AI technology to effectively maximise the value of available bandwidth of existing satellite connections.
Ship owners, ship managers, operators and maritime companies can now connect their ship-shore teams by utilising a range of apps in the marketplace for enhanced collaboration and human factor management. Solution Providers can accelerate new solution development, integration and distribution, especially by leveraging FrontM’s low-code developer and its unique technology.
Kiran Venkatesh, Co-founder and CEO of FrontM, said: “Since our Covid-pivot, we evolved our maritime-focused product roadmap and completed a range of initial rollouts. I’m hugely excited to have the backing of eminent maritime investors who share our vision and are equally passionate about digitally empowering people.”
Jeffrey Faustin, Partner and CIO of Jenson Funding Partners, UK, adds: “FrontM team’s vision and conviction stood out from our first meeting, and their execution has matched that. Their understanding of the communications and efficiency challenges within the maritime industry and the solution that they’ve built to remedy that is exceptional. The industry is vital to global transport and productivity – and businesses have been in need of a platform that solves these problems. We’ve supported FrontM from pre-Covid seed stages and are very happy to continue to do so.”
Shaun Hon, General Partner at Motion Ventures, Singapore, commented: “We see digitalisation rapidly accelerating across the maritime industry with new waves of solutions being offered. FrontM’s super-app helps stakeholders like ship operators and crews use, manage and distribute the increasing number of software applications in this industry onto one platform. Stakeholders now can work more seamlessly through a single platform, enabling more efficient and effective teams.”
Niklas Holck, CEO of Tradeworks.vc, Singapore says: “FrontM fits our ‘Digital Trade Enabler’ investment thesis. Frankly, it’s hard to imagine a startup that will do more to digitalise ship operations than FrontM, simply by enabling crews to use the available bandwidth much more effectively. The multi-sided business model benefits from significant network effects, allowing FrontM to scale rapidly and significantly increase the scope of its value proposition over time. We’ve been following Kiran and his team for more than a year now, and we’re really pleased with their performance.”
Maritime innovation consultancy Thetius estimates the maritime digital industry will be worth $345 billion by 2030. The FrontM platform is well placed to help maritime companies and service providers unlock new possibilities in this rapidly evolving market which also includes new verticals such as the new generation of satellite-IoT, direct-to-device and LEO/MEO (Low and Medium Earth Orbit) connected segments.