Windward raises $16.5 million led by XL Innovate

Windward, the maritime risk analytics startup, announced it had raised a $16.5m Series C round, bringing its total funding to date to ~$32m.

The round was led by XL Innovate. Existing investors, Horizons Ventures and Aleph, also participated, as did a number of individuals, including Salesforce Chairman & CEO, Marc Benioff. As part of the fundraising, Tom Hutton, XL Innovate Managing Partner and former CEO of RMS, will become a board director. Windward will use the money to strengthen its position within the marine insurance market, expediting the development and rollout of its suite of marine insurance products, hiring top talent, and expanding its London office.

The company’s insurance offering – Windward Insurance – continuously monitors and analyzes what ships are doing, including: how they navigate; where they operate; when they operate; what they do in rough weather; and how they maneuver in ports. The company’s models use these vessel operating patterns and behavioral traits to predict the likelihood of a ship having an accident in the year ahead. Its data and machine learning algorithms are integrated into insurers’ technical pricing models, leading to better underwriting decisions and improving profitability.

At the same time, Windward’s other main product – Windward Intelligence – helps intelligence, law enforcement and security agencies protect their national interests by revealing potential threats. In March, the United Nations Security Council reported that it used Windward Intelligence to discover vessels helping North Korea evade sanctions.