Portchain, provider of cloud-based AI planning tools for container terminals and carriers, has just raised $3.2m (DKK 20m) to further accelerate its growth. Portchain empowers container terminals and carriers to collaborate, analyze, and design operational plans to get container vessels through ports more efficiently, and has added 9 new container terminals to its customer base in the first 9 months of 2021.
2020 was a very challenging year for shipping in general, that started with slumps in production and high uncertainty in the supply chain. However, as consumer spending shifted from services to goods, a huge surge in volumes occurred, increasing port congestion and significantly reducing schedule reliability. While container carriers introduced active capacity management and cost reduction measures that both ensured the continuous flow of goods and high profits, the pandemic also highlighted bottlenecks in the global supply chain, resulting in high congestion in key import and transshipment ports. On the back of this, Portchain has seen a strong need in the market to better handle congestion, and terminal operators and carriers are increasingly looking to software to optimize their resource deployment to ensure capacity is maximized.
In the first three quarters of 2021 we have grown our customer base with nine additional container terminals. We can see that deep sea terminals around the world are realizing both the value of digitizing key processes and the impact of better and more accurate planning within quayside operations. We are truly proud to be working with some of the world’s leading container terminals and together unlock the value of digitization and optimization in their operations
Niels Kristiansen, CEO of Portchain elaborates.
Current investors leading the round
As terminals and carriers have struggled to mitigate historically poor schedule reliability and record breaking volumes, they are increasingly seeing the value of optimizing their schedule planning to maximize utilization of resources and return to operational reliability. It was on this background that Portchain raised an additional $3.2m in venture capital primarily through its current investor group. In addition to current investors Klaus & Morten Eldrup-Jørgensen, Tommy Thomsen, Michael Hassing, Jesper Kjaedegaard and Tom Behrens-Sørensen, Portchain has also welcomed Klaus Holse, former CEO of SimCorp and Kim Baroudy, Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company to the group.
I am pleased with both the results we have been able to deliver in 2021 so far and with the additional funding we have taken in. We have a very strong and dynamic investor group as it is, and we are very happy to welcome Klaus Holse and Kim Baroudy to the group, each bringing a unique perspective and skillset to the table, which we believe will ultimately benefit our customers and the industry as a whole,
Niels Kristiansen explains.
Klaus Eldrup-Jørgensen, lead investor and CEO of sports data company TrackMan, adds:
Portchain is an exciting company that is working on a significant problem within container shipping with a product that will benefit the industry greatly, and increasingly so as the product expands. It was therefore natural for us to continue to support Portchain in its future journey.
Tommy Thomsen, CEO of Lauritzen Fonden, elaborates:
Portchain has just the right vision and AI optimization products to help the industry – and the expertise to do it. I think it will have a significant positive impact in many years to come to the benefit of terminals and carriers alike. Portchain’s strong impact on operational performance and efficiency, will also help to reduce the carbon footprint of the industry.
Focus for 2022
Portchain has already welcomed 11 new employees to the company in the first 9 months of 2021 and expects the total number of employees to almost double in the next 18 months. The fresh funding will be used to fuel growth, further attract top talent and continue to push the boundary within user-centric AI solutions for quayside planning and optimization that delivers better outcomes for the bottom line and the environment.