Shone retrofits manned ships with autonomous technologies to improve the safety, security and quality of life of the men and women who sail the seas every day and bravely fuel our global economy.


Shone is focused on autonomous technologies for container ships. The startup doesn’t want to turn those giant ships into unmanned vehicles, but it wants to help seafarers and make ships more efficient.


After attending Y Combinator, Shone recently raised a $4 million round from Alven, Liquid 2, Paul Graham, David Marcus, D. Scott Phoenix and The Refiners.


“The basic idea is that autonomous ships are coming. Overall, it seems unavoidable,” co-founder and CEO Ugo Vollmer told me. “And yet, there are still 25 people on the boat and it runs on Windows.”


The team spent a lot of time talking with people working in the shipping industry to understand their needs. After traveling on container ships and buying a tiny boat for prototyping, Shone is already working with a shipping company to retrofit their ships with their technology.


For now, Shone is only focusing on deep sea. The crew doesn’t handle the first and last mile anyway as someone from the harbor usually comes on board to guide you to the dock.


Shone has signed a partnership with CMA CGM to collect data and add some hardware devices. It’s still early days for Shone as the company is first focusing on situational awareness before moving further into recommendations.

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