Windward, a maritime risk analytics start-up, has raised $16.5 million in a Series C round of funding that was led by XL Group’s venture capital InsurTech fund, XL Innovate, bringing its total funding to $38.9 million.
Existing investors such as Horizons Ventures and Aleph also participated in the latest round of funding, as did a number of individuals, including Salesforce Chairman and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Marc Benioff.
Windward says it will use the funding to strengthen its position in the marine insurance market, develop its suite of products, hire new talent, and expand its London office.
Ami Daniel, Co-Founder and CEO of Windward, said: “If there’s one investor you want to work with in insurtech, it’s XL Innovate. We know they only back the most promising, scalable technologies in the space.
“We’re delighted they chose us and look forward to putting their funds and expertise to good use, to offer our unique analytics and prediction tools to marine insurers around the world.”
As part of the fundraising arrangement, Tom Hutton, Managing Partner at XL Innovate and former CEO of RMS, will become a board director at Windward.
He commented: “We’ve had the pleasure of working with Ami and Windward for two years, believing a large opportunity existed for them in marine insurance. Today, Windward has established itself as the industry leader in marine risk analytics, earning the trust of governments and law enforcement agencies globally – and now expanding into insurance.
“We look forward to supporting Windward further, with our new equity investment complementing our existing commitment of time and resources.”
Windward informs and advises marine insurers by developing risk models that predict the likelihood of a ship having an accident in the coming year, analysing vessel operating patterns and behavioural traits such as how they navigate, where and when they operate, and how they respond to rough weather.
The company’s proprietary data and machine learning algorithms can be integrated into insurer’s technical pricing models, which results in better underwriting decisions and improved profitability.
Windward’s other main product, Windward Intelligence, helps intelligence, law enforcement, and security agencies protect their national interests by identifying potential marine threats.