This is the more usual course of innovation in the maritime field. Zero North is a software company.
It was incubated within Maersk and in 2020 was spun off into a separate company. Maersk Tankers debuts digital spinoff.
Its product then: “Optimise, formerly known as SimBunker, claims to enable owners and operators to reduce bunker consumption by determining the optimal speed of each vessel using multiple data points such as market rates, bunker prices, weather and individual vessel performance.”
The goal was to reduce emissions and costs of maritime transport. At the time it had 6 customers and 300 vessels using the product.
Now new funding has been received, and more backers have joined in investing.
This type of firm is just reaching the point when software support is starting to impose a burden on the firm. Most software startups can defer for a while the problem of support, but when the customer base grows enough, the whole cycle of customer support and updates and patches mushrooms exponentially. This places great financial demands on the firm. And it’s not profit-generating. The company benefit is only reputation, which takes a long time to repay the investment. But if reputation is tarnished by poor or unresponsive service, the company may be dealt a blow it cannot recover from, losing customers and revenues. It’s a critical time in a software startup’s lifetime.
The support conundrum is the principal reason for the failure of software startups and generally occurs later in the business arc than support for hardware-oriented products.