Shipskart, a Singapore-based supply chain e-commerce solution for maritime and offshore, said Wednesday it has closed an oversubscribed $2.7 million Series A to bring one of the maritime and offshore industry’s most analogue processes, the procurement of essential vessel supplies, online.

The round was led by TMV and Hermes Offshore, with strategic investments from the likes of Motion Ventures, and Eternia Investments, Shipskart said in a statement.

The fresh injection of funds will accelerate ShipsKart’s plans to expand its global footprint to other countries with strategic partnerships along with physical offices and warehouses. The team plans to open physical fulfilment warehousing centres located near ports for greater efficiencies. Doing so will help to improve cost-effectiveness and delivery services to meet the schedule of ships as they port.

Based on its current revenues and projections, ShipsKart plans to increase its sales by 100 percent in 2022.

“In almost every industry today, eCommerce platforms are the norm yet maritime procurement still lags behind. Bringing existing analogue marketplaces online with ShipsKart will not only help to increase savings and benefit the bottom line for companies but will make global supply chains more resilient. With our marketplace, maritime companies can now focus their time on what’s really critical to drive value on the management front,” said Dhruv Sawhney, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of ShipsKart.

ShipsKart is a business to business (B2B) online marketplace where maritime operators can purchase everything required for ships to maintain uninterrupted and efficient operations including vessel supplies (eg. marine products, consumables, equipment, spare parts and service products) or provisions for crew members (eg. kitchen essentials and toiletries). Typically, procurement processes are unstructured and coordinated manually by managing individual vendors via emails and phone calls to source quotes, conduct KYC, manage deliveries and after sales queries.

With ShipsKart, purchase officers will have a single marketplace to manage the entire end-to-end process saving significant time, while gaining data-driven insights on historical price information and identifying opportunities to improve efficiencies by mapping purchasing patterns and trends. The platform also has a budgeting tool for captains and vessel operators to simplify what would usually be managed via spreadsheet documents, which are prone to human error.

Customers purchasing from ShipsKart include vessels, vessel managers, ports, and shipyards. The marketplace allows customers to benefit from quality products at competitive prices at any remote port across the globe and has a wide network of 500+ partners across 40+ countries. To date, the company has processed more than 2,000 successful orders across the world, delivering savings of up to 20 percent on the price of the products and overall delivery costs to its valued clients.

ShipsKart’s growth has also created fresh career opportunities for category experts and mobilization managers in the maritime industry. The startup intends to empower mid-segment shipping companies and suppliers by acting as backbone digital partners on a nominal subscription. This will allow such companies to be more efficient and organized.

The startup was also the first in the industry to launch a mobile app – available on iOS and Android – for maritime procurement that’s not only accessible to ships but vendors, ship managers and owners too. The team expects that in a few years, it will become commonplace for orders would be created, approved and delivered, through its app.

“An online marketplace like ShipsKart is well overdue in maritime. Captain Dhruv Sawhney, Sunny Bagla and Vivek Sahi, are the founding team for this startup. They are deeply in tune with the most pressing needs of procurement teams and created the step change needed to galvanize the industry into a more resilient future,” said Shaun Hon, General Partner of Motion Ventures.

ShipsKart was founded by Captain Dhruv Sawhney, Master Mariner, along with Sunny Bagla (Lawyer) and Vivek Sahi (Seafarer). All three of them share prodigious synergy and bring their own experience and expertise to the table. From the personal experience of Captain Sawhney who during his seafaring career found the practice of quasi-manual procurement deeply inefficient, leading to wastage of time and money. He was grappled with the unstructured approach to procurement in the maritime sector.

Determined to leverage the latest advancements in technology, Captain Sawhney extensively researched the procurement space to better understand how to streamline it and directly connect ship owners with suppliers in one common marketplace.

“Technology and digitization are the big answer to the strained supply chain and ShipsKart’s innovative solution to the challenges we’re seeing are a major first step for helping the maritime industry across the board. We are pleased to lead this round of financing and partner with the ShipsKart team in order to continue supporting their mission to revolutionize purchasing, efficiency and transparency for the maritime space,” said Marina Hadjipateras, General Partner and Co-founder of TMV.

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