Singapore-based Ascenz, a startup that provides digital remote monitoring systems of fuel consumption and bunkering to shipping companies, has secured an undisclosed amount of Series A funding from Green Marine Capital, a part of BW Ventures, an investment arm of international maritime group BW Group.
Ascenz’s proprietary monitoring technology, which tracks fuel consumption, bunkering, and vessel heading, helps shipping companies save fuel costs and prevent bunker fraud caused by crew members giving erroneous fuel readings. The fuel usage and GPS data is wirelessly transmitted from a moving ship to their land-based control office, which gives management officials real-time fleet insights and makes the operation of the ship more transparent.
According to Leslie Loh, Managing Director of Red Dot Ventures, BW Group’s maritime background makes it well-poised to invest in Ascenz. “We are proud to have made this connection possible. BW is the owner and operator of the world’s largest fleet of LPG carriers and one of the largest independent owners of LNG carriers. Their shipping domain knowledge and international network will help Ascenz in their internationalization efforts and development of innovative products,” Red Dot Ventures and the National Research Foundation have invested in Ascenz under the Technology Incubation Scheme back in late 2012.
Conversely, BW Group’s Green Marine Capital is attracted to Ascenz through its technology and market focus, according to Director Gary Ong. ”Although there are many companies offering equipment and services related to fuel and bunkering monitoring, Ascenz has differentiated itself through its focus on a simple, reliable and accurate solution, and by its initial focus on Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region,”
Friends for over 20 years, Sia Teck Chong and Chia Yoong Hui started Ascenz out of a small Singapore office in 2008 when the two founders saw an opportunity to save ship owners millions of dollars. They have since installed their system in over one hundred vessels across Asia, and are a leading provider of fuel monitoring and bunkering systems for shipping companies.
“Since Ascenz started operations, the composition of fuel oil to total operating costs for ship owners has increased from 25 to 60 percent. As this percentage continues to rise, more and more shipping companies are turning to us for help,” says Chia, “The strategic partnership with Green Marine Capital will enable us to tackle this increased demand and expand our product line to address other unanswered problems aboard ships.”
This latest investment round from Green Marine Capital will see Ascenz ramp up their marketing activities to generate greater awareness of their solution in easing managing costs and fleet operations, as well as going into developing services and innovative models for their bunker monitoring business.