Raa Labs, a digital start-up backed by 157 years of maritime experience, launches recently. Raa Labs will enable maritime companies to harness data, drive digitalisation and adopt technology to take a leap into the future, improving efficiency and introducing new business models.
The maritime industry finds itself amid a perfect storm of economic stresses, regulatory changes and technological disruption. It is a combination of cut-throat competition, strained financial performance in many shipping segments, and a strong need to reduce the industry’s environmental footprint. The good news is that digital innovation offers a lifeline. Leveraging technology will allow the industry to meet regulatory requirements, reduce operating expenses and be better adapted to take on the future.
“To fully embrace innovation, you need to understand the bigger picture to ensure that every action you take not only saves the day or the week, but positions you for future growth,” says Raa Labs CEO, Ari Marjamaa.
The diverse Raa Labs team has the digital and entrepreneurial capability and competence together with the maritime experience and expertise to bring together the key actors and perspectives necessary for progress.
Raa Labs delivers
“We ensure that our customers consider the entire value chain from an innovation standpoint, securing long-term growth and return on investment. We’re not an applications company giving you just a piece of the puzzle,” explains Marjamaa.
Raa Labs’ initial customer deliveries range wide, from orchestrating the architecture necessary for harnessing data from hundreds of vessels in order to improve performance while reducing environmental impact and operational expenses, to tailor-made applications enabling effective collaboration processes across company disciplines and divisions. Raa Labs will also deliver new solutions, specially designed to meet needs or challenges in the industry, reducing the inefficiencies of today.
“What if you could compare prices and order commodities to your ship on the go, using a user-centred interface and simply getting what you need when you need it, with full transparency? The maritime industry isn’t spoiled with innovation, and our humble ambition is to help the maritime industry reinvent itself, “says Marjamaa.
Domain knowledge + customer insight + software = competitive edge
The success of any digital ambition in the maritime industry starts with an open infrastructure, access to data, and a customer-first mind-set.
“The current digital state of the maritime industry is lagging standardisation, disconnected data in monolithic silos and dated software. This creates inefficiencies and slows down innovation. The shapers of tomorrow’s industry are those who know how to utilise their expertise, data and customer insights to build software creating a competitive edge,” says Raa Labs CDO, Inge André Sandvik.
Located at Lysaker outside Oslo in Norway, Raa Labs taps directly into the immense networks of owners Wallenius Wilhelmsen and the Wilhelmsen group, both leaders in the maritime industry. Raa Labs has received USD 2 million in seed investment from the owners.
“A company with this backing, with these resources and access to competence can create solutions beyond your imagination. The Raa Labs team brings solid experience from technology companies, software development and the maritime industry, putting us in a unique position to create value for our customers in the maritime industry, but also within oil & gas- and renewables. We are currently seven people, but rapidly growing with the customer demand,” says Marjamaa.
The company name Raa is the old Norse word for the yard that held up the square sail of the Viking longships. This highly efficient sail offered the Viking vessels superior speed and handling – securing a dominant position on the seas. The winds of technology change are blowing, and Raa Labs is set to be the partner that gives maritime players a competitive advantage, supporting the industry to sail faster into the future.
Image: Thomas Wilhelmsen
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