Founded with the support of Flagship Founders, zero44, a SaaS startup for CO2 management of merchant ships, can today announce a successful funding round of €2.5 million. The round is led by early-stage investor Atlantic Labs. In addition, Starthub Ventures and Bernhard Schulte Innoport are investing, as well as several business angels from the logistics and shipping industry.
zero44 was founded in May 2022. The startup helps companies from the shipping industry (shipping companies, charterers and ship managers) to set up the optimal and commercially most sensible CO2 strategy and to reduce CO2 significantly and quickly. In particular, zero44 supports its customers in participating in EU emissions trading, which will become mandatory in the maritime sector from January 2024.
In its first year of existence, zero44 has already been able to win well-known customers and partners, including MPC Container Ships as a development partner and MariApps Marine Solutions as a distribution partner.
Maritime Sector Under Pressure to Reduce Emissions
Managing emissions has become a top priority issue for companies in the maritime industry. In particular, the EU's decision to extend the Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) to shipping from January 2024 has far-reaching consequences for the industry. However, the Carbon Intensity Indicator (CII) regulations in place since 2023 also continue to pose challenges for the sector. Sustainable fuels will play an important role as a solution in the future, as will new types of ships, but these are not yet available in the short term and are very expensive. Therefore, technology solutions that can be deployed immediately now play an essential role in reducing emissions. zero44's technology can be deployed quickly and easily by companies, and they also benefit from the team's expertise regarding the complex regulatory issues.
"The shipping industry needs to quickly become sustainable and reduce emissions. The pressure from politics and legislation has increased massively, and for many companies this is a huge challenge," said Friederike Hesse, co-founder and CEO of zero44. "We offer them an answer and can help them to quickly become sustainable and reduce emissions. The fact that we were also able to convince Atlantic Labs of this vision and win them over as an investor is an important sign - for us and the entire market - especially in times when VC money is being awarded much more sparsely than before."
Nils Obermann, co-founder and also CEO of zero44, added, "The new funds as well as Atlantic Labs' great expertise and network will give us tailwind for the future: We want to further develop and optimize our product, and our team should also continue to grow. In addition, time is pressing to prepare as many companies in the shipping industry as possible in time for the EU Emissions Trading System. We need resources for this as well - through this financing round, we have them. We are very happy and proud of our team, which has achieved so extremely much in just one year since we started."
Christophe M. Maire, Founder and Managing Partner of Atlantic Labs commented, "Decarbonization in shipping is an extremely important, promising field in which we want to invest more. And zero44 has convinced us: the team is doing great work and the timing is perfect. The entire market is urgently looking for the best options to reduce emissions and make the transition to the EU Emissions Trading System as smooth as possible. With zero44, they are finding that solution. We are sure: the company has a great future ahead of it."