Tech giant Microsoft, through its M12 venture fund and the Microsoft Climate Innovation Fund, led the $34 million series B financing round for ocean shipping optimization solutions startup Nautilus Labs. Nautilus stated that the financing will be used develop new product capabilities to support client decarbonization and profit maximization goals, as well as to hire new talent and grow its footprint across key global shipping hubs.

Ocean shipping, accounting for an estimated 3% of global GHG emissions, is coming under increasing scrutiny, as companies look to improve the sustainability profiles of their value chains. Supply chain decarbonization is emerging as a major focus for sustainability initiatives at companies globally, as efforts to address the climate impact of business increasingly shift to reducing emissions outside of companies’ direct control, or ‘Scope 3,’ which often constitute the majority of company emissions.

Nautilus’ solutions address ocean shipping inefficiencies and enable emissions reductions by allowing collaboration among stakeholders in the ocean supply chain, connecting owners and operators. The solution provides predictive insight into voyage economics, leveraging machine learning-based predictions, analyzing IoT data, weather patterns, arrival and departure times, and commercial needs to reduce fuel waste and emissions while maximizing commercial returns.

Matt Heider, Chief Executive Officer at Nautilus Labs, said:

“Economic efficiency and environmental efficiency are best solved in unison. Today, we’re able to empower ocean shipping companies with a path to creating the most profitable business – that at the same time helps them reduce carbon intensity immediately. The firms winning in the market are mobilizing resources now to adopt a collaborative, data-driven approach to transforming their voyages. By focusing on the underlying economics, they’re stripping wasted fuel and time out of their operations.”

The deal marks the first joint investment for Microsoft’s venture and climate innovation funds. Additional investors participating in the financing included NSS Advisors, Systemiq Capital, Root Ventures, Quiet Capital, TMV, and Amplifier.

Mark Kroese, General Manager, Sustainability Solutions at Microsoft, said:

“Microsoft is committed to accelerating global progress towards a more sustainable future and supporting our partners to deliver outcomes that go beyond exceptional financial returns to drive catalytic environmental and social impact. That’s why M12 and the Climate Innovation Fund are co-investing for the first time in Nautilus, a business that can be both high-growth and deliver on significant decarbonization targets at scale.”