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Greek AI Shipping Startup Acquired by Japanese Automation Giant

Ships in the sea
The takeover of Greek AI startup DeepSea by Japanese automation giant Nabtesco places Greece at the forefront of the sector’s upcoming green transition. Credit: Union of Greek Shipowners

Greek AI startup DeepSea, focused on the decarbonisation of shipping fleets, has been taken over by Japanese automation giant Nabtesco in a majority stake deal announced last week.

The partnership is expected to have a profound global enviromental impact in the direction of green shipping, while it also places Greece at the forefront of the sector’s upcoming green transition.

Milestone deal for Greek entrepreneurship

DeepSea will remain a separate entity, headquartered in Athens, where it employs a few dozens staff. It will continue to function as an autonomous research center for the development of applications and products based on Artificial Intelligence under the leadership of its two Greek co-founders.

In addition, the Greek startup will pursue AI-focused research and development, covering the full range of Nabtesco’s business, which extends beyond shipping to include wind turbines, rail and aviation automation and industrial robotics.

“This is a world first – for the first time a Japanese company enters into this type of agreement with a Greek company. Nabtesco and DeepSea want to stay one step ahead of the competition as the sector evolves, and the decision to combine AI and automation technologies will enable our combined product offering to be unrivaled,” said DeepSea President and co-founder, Roberto Coustas.

According to the CEO and second co-founder of DeepSea, Dr. Konstantinos Kyriakopoulos, “the partnership proves that Greek companies can play a leading role in the global industrial transformation brought about by artificial intelligence, using as a springboard our traditional leadership in shipping.”

Powerful partnership with profound environmental impact

Nabtesco first invested in DeepSea in 2021 and has recently started to represent the Greek startup’s solutions in vessel condition monitoring and voyage optimization in the Japanese, Chinese and Korean markets.

Following the takeover, Nabtesco will further promote the development and sales of DeepSea’s existing solutions, as well as accelerate digital transformation in the maritime industry by combining Nabtesco’s marine engine control systems with DeepSea’s optimal route and speed proposals based on world-leading AI technology.

The combined offering will have a profound environmental impact, continuing to reduce fuel consumption with DeepSea’s platforms, whilst also focusing on the move towards the autonomous operation of marine vessels, Nabtesco said in a statement.

Greek startup’s 10 percent Initiative for the decarbonisation of fleets

In the direction of positively impacting the gobal environment, DeepSea conceived and launched the 10 percent Initiative – a movement aspiring to reduce vessel energy costs by 10 percent.

The movement involves a commitment by DeepSea and the members of the initiative to work collaboratively to do “something real, measurable, and impactful – with tangible benefits for everyone.”

In terms of environmental impact, the goal of reducing vessel energy costs by 10 percent across the global fleet is like 83 million trees grown over ten years.

In terms of financial profit, it equals 5 million USD in savings per year for a fleet size of ten vessels, according to DeepSea’s 10 percent Initiative.

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