Zürich, Switzerland: Cleantech venture capital pioneer Emerald Technology Ventures has facilitated the acquisition of DeepSea, a maker of intelligent maritime control systems, by Nabtesco, a world leader in motion control technologies. The deal marks the first acquisition of a portfolio company by one of Emerald’s corporate venture capital-as-a-service (CVCaaS) clients. It is a significant milestone in the development of CVC as a catalyst for sustainable innovation in maritime services and beyond.
Under Emerald’s unique CVC-as-a-service model, Emerald manages the entire deal flow of Nabtesco’s CVC arm, Nabtesco Technology Ventures. Its team of sector specialists assesses the potential of promising startups and recommends investment strategies. Under this partnership, which has been in place since the end of 2018, Emerald has facilitated eight deals for Nabtesco, including an initial investment into DeepSea in 2021.
DeepSea will join Nabtesco Marine in developing the platforms and tools required to achieve its goal of scalable semi-autonomous shipping. It will also pursue artificial intelligence (AI)-focused research and development covering the entire scope of Nabtesco’s activity. DeepSea will continue to focus on the development of its established software platforms that enable shipping companies to decrease fuel consumption and emissions by optimizing vessels and voyages.
The Emerald-Nabtesco partnership helps the Japanese conglomerate—which aims to be carbon-free by 2050—meet its sustainability and transformation goals. DeepSea’s easy-to-implement solutions for AI-enabled shipping are part of a broader push to clean up the maritime industry, one of the world’s hardest-to-decarbonize sectors.
Under the terms of the deal, DeepSea will retain its team, premises and independent brand identity, and will continue to be a self-directed research center for the development of applications and products based on AI.
“Pressure to decarbonize will intensify across the marine industry for the foreseeable future, and DeepSea is a technological leader in routing and performance optimization of seagoing vessels—a key lever for emissions reductions,” says Emerald Investment Director Mehran Zaker. “The strong strategic synergies between Nabtesco and DeepSea will enhance the potential for both companies’ cutting-edge technologies to change the industry for the better.”
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