Seed funding

News · 4 April 2024

New Zealand tech helping to protect our oceans secures investment

Starboard Maritime Intelligence has successfully closed a NZ$5 million seed funding round. The round includes New Zealand based investors Altered Capital (lead), Icehouse Ventures, Invest South, Soul Capital, and Whakatupu Aotearoa Foundation, as well as US-based SeaAhead. Starboard is a Software as a Service (SaaS) maritime domain awareness platform and has been developed alongside government and intergovernmental users in New Zealand, Australia, and the Pacific to tackle illegal fishing, transnational crime, prevent biosecurity outbreaks, and protect at-sea assets.

The investment enables Starboard to strengthen its support for a growing number of analysts in the Pacific region. Alongside this the team are expanding their go-to-market function to increase their impact in other countries and industry verticals.

“Starboard enables days of analysis to be completed within minutes. Analysts gain more valuable information, more quickly leading to better decisions about which vessels to focus on. We are working to take Starboard to analysts globally, to help them collaborate and share insights for the protection of our oceans,” says Trent Fulcher, CEO of Starboard.

Starboard’s team of 26 includes data scientists, software engineers, analysts, and designers, who love turning complex data sets into insightful software which helps protect our oceans.

The ‘blue economy’ is growing rapidly and is estimated to reach over NZ$5 trillion by 2030 1. As use of the oceans intensifies for economic development there has been a global rise in maritime security threats, environmental damage, and regulatory pressures.

“The global maritime surveillance market, that Starboard operates in, is predicted to reach NZ$67 billion USD by 2030 2 and we are seeing a growing need for greater operational efficiency and collaboration,” says Craig Mawdsley, Partner at Altered Capital.

SaaS is an important growth sector for New Zealand’s economy, as a weightless export there is significant opportunity for international scaling and SaaS is set to become a major industry in New Zealand. The Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment (MBIE) estimate that by 2030 the SaaS industry could be worth NZ$14 billion NZD and employ nearly 60,000 3.

About Starboard Maritime Intelligence

Starboard supports governments, border security teams, NGOs and fisheries organisations to navigate vast amounts of maritime data, enabling them to make better decisions about which vessels to focus on and inspect. Over 4000 vessel positions a second are processed with proprietary algorithms and machine learning models to flag significant maritime activity, like when vessels meet at sea to move fish, behave abnormally, or are fishing. This on-water behaviour is blended with off-water ownership and licensing information to enable analysts to identify high risk vessels. Learn more about

About Altered Capital

Altered Capital is a New Zealand Venture Capital Firm. Altered backs companies with proven product market fit to reach their greatest ambitions. With a particular interest in technology, healthcare, and financial companies, Altered supports teams pursuing rapid growth through expansion, innovation, and acquisitions.


  1. OECD the ocean economy in 2030
  2. Maritime Surveillance Market Revenue Analysis Report
  3. MBIE focus area: Growing export success: Total SaaS sector revenue

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