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One of the most significant problems to solve was the fact that ships use a lot of fuel, and those ships are pretty inefficient in how they use it. We could see that there were quite a few startups looking at marine fuel efficiency, but to us, we only had to look at vessels bobbing about on the ocean to see that machine learning was the logical technology to address this big, green, challenge.
After several years of intense development and testing with innovators and early adopters, our core machine learning technology matured. Alongside this, GreenSteam steadily grew too and we launched our first product, GreenSteam Optimiser in 2011 and immediately signed our first customer. Since then, we’ve seen dramatic growth, opening offices in Poland and the UK, and enjoyed commercial success across all vessel types and classes.
In 2013, Castrol invested in GreenSteam having looked at a number of companies that would strengthen their drive for using technology to improve operational efficiency. We’re pleased that they saw us, with our machine learning technology, as being a credible answer to the challenges of improving operational efficiency. So successful have we been in this area that they increased their holding to 60%. That said, we’re still an independent company – but one that works with Castrol to bring the combined benefits of our approach to customer operations.
Castrol’s ongoing investment gives us global reach, has enabled us to grow to over 50 staff in three geographies and invest in developing more products to benefit the shipping industry.