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2nd February 2021

Maritime tech: Signal Group launches Signal Ventures

Client news

Signal Ventures, the investment arm of the Signal Group, is seeking entrepreneurs and start-ups in the maritime sector to join its ecosystem of technology partners. Led by Greek entrepreneur Ioannis Martinos, Signal Ventures focuses on B2B SaaS, advanced analytics, optimisation and artificial intelligence technologies for the maritime and trade sectors.

Signal Ventures offers its partners access to unique data processing capabilities, vessel port calls, emissions, port and weather information, venture capital, mentoring and hands-on team building support. We drive incorporation, accounting, legal and HR activities so that founders can focus on their product.

The ecosystem already includes technology startups active in ship bunkering, oil and dry bulk analytics, and marine weather.

Following the success of early private deals and the growing activity in the maritime startup scene, Signal Ventures has been set up to support technology innovation. Its team draws on talent from across the Signal Group and is coordinated by the recently appointed Nikolas Pyrgiotis, Vice President of Technology Ventures.

In 2019 the overall maritime tech sector was estimated to be worth USD106bn, expected to rise to US$278bn by 2030*. Startup driven innovation will be core to this growth.

Announcing the renewed drive for complementary skills and fresh talent at the launch of Signal Ventures, Signal Group CEO Ioannis Martinos said:

“The maritime tech space has grown significantly over the past three years, but 2021 will see more opportunities than ever before. However, it’s going to be tough for any startup without long-term solid backing, infrastructure or a unique proposition behind it. Signal Ventures, with its shipping industry pedigree, is committed to the sector: we’ll work with entrepreneurs with great ideas and exciting technologies. Our world-class support is already turning ideas into long term success.”

Signal Ventures has already successfully incubated OilX, a UK oil analytics company; invested in and collaborated with Bunker Metric, a bunker procurement optimization startup; and Swedish weather data provider Storm Glass. In addition, two entrepreneurs in residence are working in a venture studio with the Signal team to develop and take to market new products.

Florian Thaler, founder and CEO of OilX, on the value of Signal’s support said:

“Signal has been a true partner through the entire startup process and continues to be a key technology partner of OilX. Signal provided us with superior data and technology combined with capital and strong commercial advisory. That allowed us to take our idea first to MVP and ultimately to market at a substantially accelerated pace.”

Signal Ventures has also gained experience in large technology deals, as the lead seed investor in Nutonomy, a successful autonomous vehicle startup, at a 10x return and Omnition, a SaaS platform to monitor microservices, at a 7x return.

*Source: Inmarsat: Trade 2.0: How Startups are driving the next generation of maritime trade


For further details, please contact Bill Lines.


T: +44 (0)7970 730521

Notes to editors

About Signal Ventures

We focus on early stage technology startups and entrepreneurs in the shipping, logistics and commodities space. We are the venture building and strategic investment arm of the Signal Group, a leading provider of technology, data and commercial solutions to the shipping industry.

About Signal Group

Established in 2014, The Signal Group is a diversified shipping services group with offices in London and Athens. The Signal Group offers commercial ship management services to a pool of Aframax class oil tankers. In addition, The Signal Group develops and invests in next generation shipping related software technologies. Signal Ocean is the Signal Group’s successful platform for vessel chartering insights and is used by tanker owners, traders and brokers responsible for over half of the world’s spot tanker fixtures. The Group is led by an executive team who has more than 65 years of collective experience in ship management at the highest level. The leadership team is supported by a world-class mix of commercial shipping professionals, finance professionals, strategists, energy market analysts, data scientists and developers.

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