Groke Technologies has raised funds from 3 major Japanese Tanker operators – Uyeno Transtech, Tsurumi Sunmarine and Asahi Tanker.
It is a very rare case that Uyeno Transtech, Tsurumi Sunmarine, and Asahi Tanker, which are leading the coastal tanker industry, all decide to invest together. This shows the high level of attention within the coastal shipping industry. Together, they will contribute to solving the problem of a serious shortage of seafarers in the domestic shipping industry in Japan through this investment.
Uyeno Transtech Ltd. belongs to the Uyeno group which was established in 1869 and consists of 35 different companies, mainly related to the transportation / storage / sales of petroleum products and chemical products, solar business and marine environment business. Uyeno Transtech itself is the tanker operator operating around 70 vessels with over 150 employees.
“We are cooperating in the development of the “eyes” of ships manufactured by Groke in order to build a safer systems and to address the issues of seafarer shortage and aging in the domestic shipping industry. Since 2020, we have installed cameras on our vessels and have taken millions of image data and sent them to Groke. Groke has created a situational awareness system that displays ship information such as position together with other sensors after letting AI learn this and making the other ship including fishing boats image-recognize with a camera.
Tsurumi Sunmarine Co., Ltd. is a tanker operator who controls around 150 tankers (chartered in from around 100 vessel owners), Tsurumi Sunmarine has been in transports of petroleum products since their establishment in 1947.
“Tsurumi Sunmarine is looking at solving the problems of seafarers shortage and aging for the survival and development of domestic shipping, or the way seafarers work.
We believe that the realization of reforms is essential. For this reason, a member involved in the development of autonomous vessels in Europe was founded. We have been paying attention to the potential of Groke from early on, and will participate in and cooperate with the development of their situational awareness system.
With the acquisition of the company’s shares, we will be more proactive in resolving various issues through the company’s solutions.”
Asahi Tahnker Co., ltd. is a tanker operator with a fleet of over 100 vessels, mainly domestic but has some global business. Asahi Tanker is a subsidiary of MOL (Mitsui O.S.K. Lines).
“Through this investment, we will promote further safe operation, contribute to solving the problem of a serious shortage of seafarers in the domestic shipping industry, and lead the industry transformation.”
Press release published on the 26th of November 2021
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