Ami Daniel, Windward Ltd.

Ami Daniel

Maritime Analytics

Editors’ Note

Ami Daniel assumed his current post in April 2009. He has received many honors for his work including being selected as one of TheMarker 40 promising young managers in Israel under the age of 40 in 2013; as a BizTec (Israeli National Entrepreneurship Competition) Category Winner in 2010; the Ramon Award for Leadership and Excellence, awarded by Israeli Minister of Defense, in 2003; the German Education Minister Special Research Award in 2002; and the Israeli President Award for Extraordinary Social Leadership in 2002.

Company Brief

Founded in 2009 as a privately held global company, Windward (windward.eu) developed a groundbreaking technology for satellite based predictive maritime analytics.

How did Windward come about?

We started Windward looking to tackle the issue of illegal fishing, only to discover that the problem of localized maritime monitoring was already solved through coastal sensors and maritime assets (ships, airplanes, and today even the limited and simple use of satellites). However, the latest advancements in satellite technologies, mainly prominent trends of satellite commercialization and minimization, only created new problems with Big Data, and turning raw data into actionable information. As we identified this emerging trend a few years back, we set out to develop the next step – the world’s first fully automatic predictive maritime analytics system.

What value does a system of this type provide?

Windward’s flagship product MarInt, the world’s first commercial predictive maritime analytics system, is the analytical technology born from our understanding of both the challenges and potential of the existing data. MarInt maps global maritime traffic, and then applies complex analytics on all historical and current data. The system analyzes the behavior of all vessels worldwide automatically in order to pinpoint even the slightest anomalous behaviors and patterns, which may indicate involvement in illicit activities – and sometimes may be the only available indication of such involvement.

MarInt has been in operational use for the past 18 months, providing intelligence and defense customers with bottom-line risk assessment on specific ships or broader insightful understanding of their area of interest. While collecting millions of daily ship transmissions, Windward uses proprietary algorithms to research past ship behavior and deduce future risk assessment. Customers purchase a license to receive the highest quality “pointers” for their specific interests, distilled by MarInt’s global view and constantly evolving algorithmic capabilities.

How are you positioned for growth?

In order to support our expansion into new markets, and after securing multiple clients in 2013, we announced recently that we had raised $5 million from Aleph VC, our first institutional round. This should help the company expand its leadership in the defense and Homeland security industries, and accelerate its rollout in commercial markets impacted by maritime activities.

In order to stay ahead of the pack, we have chosen to establish our R&D center in the heart of Tel Aviv, acknowledging the unique culture of innovation in the city.

Finally, we are always on the lookout for the right partners that share our vision and can leverage our networks in the commercial market, in order to explore new opportunities with commodity traders and oil and gas companies.•