When a ship enters a commercial port, there are many costs associated with calling into a port. These are referred to as ‘disbursements’ and ‘harbour dues’. These can be port charges, towage and pilotage charges, which when added together can represent a large part of the operating costs, after fuel, for a ship operator.
Typically, companies use manual processes and Excel spreadsheets to handle all of this. But now a startup in Athens, Greece Harbor laboratory has come up with a solution.
The platform claims to streamline disbursement account processes and identify discrepancies, reducing port call charges by approximately 6% per port visit and reducing administrative costs by up to 75%.
It has now secured €6.1 million in funding to further develop its platform.
The SaaS payout account analysis software calculates and evaluates port costs at real-time port rates.
VentureFriends and Speedinvest led the Seed funding round, with participation from additional investors including The Dock, Signal Ocean, Motion Ventures, TecPier, Innoport, Charge VC, and tech founders including Alexandros Chatzielftheriou, founder of Blueground.
“Harbor Lab was born out of a real-time need to automate payout processing (payments to port authorities and other port-related suppliers) while reducing manual intervention and heavy administration. The way we do this is by collecting the official port rates directly from the port authorities and then feeding them into our internally developed algorithm. We use this to accurately and reliably calculate every port expense based on terminal, berth and a number of other parameters. said HarborLab CEO and founder, Antonis Malaxianakis.
“We are very excited to support Harbor Lab in its quest to expand globally while establishing their footprint in major maritime hubs such as Copenhagen and Singapore. We are also eager to see the product evolve using machine learning to digitize ports around the world, making shipping more efficient,” added Apostolos Apostolakis, partner at VentureFriends, in a statement.
Habor Lab launched in March 2020. The marine payout industry is estimated to be worth $200 billion annually.
VentureFriends is an early-stage European venture capital fund with offices in London, Warsaw and Athens and is currently investing from its third €100 million fund. Speedinvest has more than €600 million in assets under management and 40 investors in Berlin, London, Munich, Paris and Vienna. It also won a Europas award this year as the most popular European VC.
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