SoftBank Ventures Asia, the venture arm of Japanese billionaire Masayoshi Son’s SoftBank Group, led a $5.8 million round in South Korean autonomous navigation startup Seadronix, bringing its total funding to date to $8.3 million.
The autonomous shipping industry in Asia has seen a wave of investment over the past few years, dovetailing with a global push towards “smarter” autonomous transportation. Toyota AI Ventures, for example, launched a $100 million fund in 2019 for autonomous mobility, covering the shipping industry with an investment in Boston-based Sea Machines.
Last August, Boston Consulting Group’s innovation arm, BCG Digital Ventures, invested in three Singapore-based maritime tech startups. Quest Ventures, also based in the city-state, launched a $7.5 million maritime technology fund last year, in collaboration with Singapore-based ShipsFocus.