Investing in CetoAI—powerful predictive analytics for the maritime industry


Investing in CetoAI—powerful predictive analytics for the maritime industry

Words Founders Factory

July 18th 2023 / 3 min read

The problem

Global trade still relies heavily on the maritime industry. But shipping is plagued with a range of inefficiencies, resulting in billions lost and huge carbon emissions. 

Ship owners face rising costs, with maintenance accounting for up to 30% of their expenses. Reactive maintenance leads to longer repair times, increased costs, and a higher risk of equipment failure, including the need for costly replacements.

This not only stretches supply chains but has a huge impact on ship owners’ profitability. Equipment failures cause delays and downtime, costing ship owners up to $20,000 per day and in some cases more. 

Predictive maintenance has proven effective in reducing downtime and costs in offshore industries. Data-driven approaches have lowered downtime on oil and gas rigs by 36% compared to reactive maintenance, saving up to $34 million annually. Adopting predictive maintenance practices could alleviate inefficiencies and mitigate costs in the maritime sector.

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The solution

Ceto is an innovative maritime first technology company combining data analytics, marine engineering experience, and AI to deliver decarbonisation and risk management solutions for the maritime industry.

Their SaaS platform takes data from existing sensors on ships combined with an AI model to enable predictive maintenance of hull and machinery as well as better underwritten marine insurance.

What sets Ceto apart is their unique combination of first-hand experience at sea and real-life casualty data from marine hull insurance. By analysing over 30 years of historical claims, they can identify the most frequent and severe claims and match them with sensors that serve as early warning indicators. This has revolutionised shipboard maintenance, operations, and marine insurance, delivering real-time information like never before.

The team

Tony Hildrew (Founder & CEO)

Tony has spent his life in and around boats. He studied marine engineering, before starting out as an engineering officer operating and maintaining engine room machinery. He worked his way up through the ranks on vessels ranging from private yachts to commercial ferries. His next role was as a project engineer on major refit and dry dock projects, before moving into vessel management for a fleet of 14 vessels, leading day to day operations for nearly 3 years as well as undertaking a number of new build and refit projects during that time. 

Ben Harrison (Technical Lead)

Ben studied economics at the University of Swansea and it was during his time here that he turned his passion for bikes into his own company Mango Bikes, a company that still lives on today. After Mango he continued to feed off the startup ecosystem buzz and build new products for a number of startups and scaleups before joining DAOHQ as Technical Lead. Ben grew the team from a solo full stack engineer to a technical team of 16 spread across different geographies which helped the blockchain company build out their platform and secure first users.

Why we’re excited to invest

Olly Betts, Founders Factory sector director for fintech: "Ceto is solving a clear problem within the maritime industry, addressing the increasing costs and downtime caused by reactive maintenance. Founder Tony's deep market insight, derived from personal experience in shipping, has enabled CetoAI to develop a unique solution to leverage real time sensor data to upgrade maritime and energy industries making them more efficient, available, safe and sustainable. I’m excited to welcome the Ceto team to our Fintech Accelerator and work with them to deliver their vision of increasing the GDP of heavy industry."

What CetoAI wants to get out of the programme

  • We’re looking to leverage the experience of Aviva to continue our product development

  • We want to build out partnerships with Aviva, as well as other partners within the broader Founders Factory network

  • Growth remains a key priteria, and we’re keen to utilise the resources provided by FF in this regard

  • We’re aiming to close our Seed investment round, and are looking to leverage Founders Factory’s network and fundraising support to do so

Building a category-defining fintech business?

Submit your application for our Aviva Fintech Accelerator

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