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Houston software company receives $1.5M to simplify bulk shipping

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Houston-based Voyager has raised $1.5 million in seed funding for its software seeking to simplify the shipping of crude oil, petrochemicals and other bulk commodities.

“Shipping bulk commodities like crude oil, gas and petrochemicals is still a highly manual and complex process, with $360 billion in ocean freight managed globally by email, phone, fax and text in a high-volume, fast-paced environment,” Matthew Costello, co-founder and CEO of Voyager, said in a news release. “Data is decentralized and unstructured, and the process is rife with inefficiencies, lost opportunities, costly human errors and, overarchingly, billions in losses.”

More tech news: Houston company brings AI, machine learning to energy procurement

Each shipment can involve at least 10 companies, more than 4,000 emails and hundreds of documents. And according to a study conducted by Costello and co-founder Bret Smart, roughly 40 percent of employee time is spent on low-value tasks such as manual data entry, checking documents for errors and forwarding information.


Voyager is seeking to simplify and better organize this process by routing communication through its real-time software platform. And by collecting data in one place — as opposed to folders, spreadsheets, PDFs and email inboxes — Voyager can provide companies with insights into supply chain seasonality, schedule variability and operational performance.

This will become increasingly important as the maritime sector continues embracing new technologies.

At HoustonChronicle.com: RightShip uses big data to find reliable vessels

“Voyager’s solution will become even more critical as autonomous shipping and Internet- and IoT-enabled cargo ships pick up steam globally, in turn, creating new data and technology requirements that will require the power of our platform,” Costello said in the news release.

The company was founded in 2018. Its $1.5 million seed funding round was co-led by ATX Venture Partners, Blue Bear Capital, GreenHawk Capital and Phaze Ventures.

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