MarineLabs looks to bring safety to oceans following $4.5-million seed round

MarineLabs Founder and CEO Dr Scott Beatty with MarineLabs sensor buoy
Startup offers hardware and software that provides real-time wind, wave, and weather data.

Victoria-based ocean tech startup MarineLabs has closed $4.5 million in seed funding. 

The round was led by BDC Capital’s Sustainability Venture Fund with participation from Seaspan Shipyards, which operates shipyards in Vancouver and Victoria. 

One wave tracked by Marine Labs was claimed to be the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded.

MarineLabs is a coastal intelligence startup founded in 2017 and led by CEO Scott Beatty, who founded the startup after working at a consulting firm that specialized in ocean wave energy and coastal engineering. There, Beatty found that validation data solutions needed for coastal modelling were too expensive and complicated.

MarineLabs offers hardware and software that provides real-time wind, wave, and weather data to port operators, vessel pilots, and coastal engineers. Its flagship product, CoastAware, collects data from a sensor network deployed across North America and uses artificial intelligence to forecast and model weather. 

The startup also offers a buoy camera, which offers a 360-degree view of weather conditions in remote coastal locations. 

MarineLabs aims to not only enhance marine safety by assisting port operators in decision-making when bringing large ships into port, but also protect coastal environments, which are vulnerable to the effects of sea-level rise, erosion, and storms. 

“Providing reliable real-time data enables sound decision-making within the maritime industry, while equipping governments and coastal communities around the globe to respond to volatile weather and build climate resilience,” Beatty said in a statement.

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Last year, in an interview with Innovate BC, which granted the startup an Ignite Award in 2019, Beatty said MarineLabs has been profitable for two years.

In 2020, MarineLabs’ technology captured an extreme rogue wave measuring 58 feet off the coast of the Vancouver Island town of Ucluelet, BC. Rogue waves, also known as freak or killer waves, are waves with a height more than double that of other waves around them.

The Ucluelet wave, recorded by one of the Marine Labs’ buoys approximately seven kilometres offshore, was claimed by one study to be the most extreme rogue wave ever recorded.

MarineLabs plans to use the new seed funding to accelerate product development and expand its market reach.

Feature image source Marine Labs.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle is a Vancouver-based writer with 5+ years of experience in communications and journalism and a lifelong passion for telling stories. For over two years, she has reported on all sides of the Canadian startup ecosystem, from landmark venture deals to public policy, telling the stories of the founders putting Canadian tech on the map.

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