Shipamax, the ship-booking software provider, has managed to raise $2.5 million in a seed funding round led by American venture capital firm Cherubic Ventures, with AME Cloud and FF Angel, the angel investing arm of Founders Fund, also participating.

Founded just last year and headquartered in London, Shipamax wants to bring the bulk shipping industry “into the digital age”, and it aims to do so by creating a single cloud-based platform which enables businesses to book space on cargo ships. The objective of the firm’s platform is to assist shipbrokers, shipowners, ship operators, and charterers to share internal information more easily and “turn data into their competitive advantage”.

This is being accomplished by Shipamax’s cloud software solution, which has been designed to handle all communications between customer, broker and operator (both internal and external communications), and also to make sense of the data exchanged, making the process itself much more scalable. This is in fact a big challenge, given that the industry has been faced with a 90 percent drop in prices since 2008, meaning that every last fragment of increased efficiency goes a long way.

The firm plans to use the new inflow of funds to expand its customer base, accelerate product development, and boost its staff numbers, it said in a statement. Jenna Brown, the firm’s co-founder and CEO, commented:

Bulk shipping powers the world economy – the grains we eat, the steel we build with and the fuels we consume all get transported by bulk ships. Despite industry perils, demand for dry bulk has increased 40 per cent since the financial crisis. We’re enabling the industry to keep up with the pace of change in technology and put them on the road to recovery.

Previously, Brown worked at London-based FinTech startup GoCardless, founded in 2011. The firm also has another founder: computer scientist Fabian Blaicher. Together, the two aim to put this unique venture on the shipping map.

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