The recent Suez Canal blockage, which lasted for six days after a 400-metre-long (1,300 ft) container ship ended up wedged across the waterway due to the combination of strong winds and human errors, showed the whole world just how easily can major shipping accidents happen and how severe and long-lasting their impact can be. Unfortunately, the Suez Canal blockage was just one of several thousand marine incidents that occur annually. Now, one Tel Aviv-based company has successfully raised €10.8 million in a Series A round to work on its ship navigation and collision avoidance system, Orca AI.
“The maritime industry has come leaps and bounds in recent years, but is still far behind aviation with technological innovations. Ships deal with increasingly congested waterways, severe weather and low-visibility conditions creating difficult navigation experiences with often expensive cargo,” says Orca AI CEO and co-founder Yarden Gross.
Orca AI combines data from sensors with artificial intelligence to provide real-time insights that reflect the changing conditions at sea. The system can be used for individual ships to deliver predictions and alerts on hazards, but it can also supply fleet managers with insights on the risk behavior and patterns of the entire fleet.
“Utilizing onboard navigation sensors and high-resolution cameras with proprietary AI algorithms, the technology is able to provide valuable insight such as alerting the crew on dangerous targets, prioritize risk in real-time and sort out complex navigation situations,” explains Dor Raviv, Co-Founder & CTO of Orca AI.
Other tech companies are also trying to make the shipping industry safer and less prone to costly accidents. For example, the Saudi Arabian Oil Company is using AI technology to monitor its maritime fleet, while Stockholm-based X Shore is exploring an auto-docking solution that could greatly streamline what’s arguably the most dangerous part of getting a massive cargo ship from point A to point B.
Matchmaking App Hawaya Lets Users Connect Based On Lifestyle Choices
Hawaya currently operates in 12 new countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United States, and Canada.
Finding love is not easy, especially for singles in the Middle East, where conservative cultural norms don’t approve of any but the most traditional forms of matchmaking, which don’t seem all that appealing to many members of younger generations. But it’s not like young men and women in the Middle East are without modern options when it comes to finding the partner of their dreams. Hawaya, a Cairo-born matchmaking app, has recently celebrated 4 million users, and it’s now rolling out a feature that has the potential to expand its userbase even further: the ability to connect based on lifestyle choices with people from other regions.
Hawaya currently operates in 12 new countries, including Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, UAE, France, Germany, UK, Malaysia, Indonesia, the United States of America, and Canada. So far, it has resulted in 18,000 commitments, with 5,000 in Egypt alone.
“We’re seeing singles all over the region, women in particular, trusting in Hawaya to find their life partner more than ever before, which displays greater social acceptance for mobile matchmaking as an empowering tool for women to find their ideal life partner,” said Shaymaa Ali, Hawaya’s co-founder and Marketing Manager in the MENA region.
The new “Lifestyle Preferences” feature allows users to find their other half based on shared interests, likes, and dislikes. Users can now specify the geographic area they would like to explore, instead of always receiving matches that are located as close to them as possible.
“Through innovation, tech, and cultural respect, Hawaya prides itself to be a progressive app that aims to destigmatize the taboo of online matchmaking, and empowering women to take their time and spark a real connection with the love of their lives,” added Sameh Saleh, Hawaya’s founder and CEO.
Since the 2017 launch of Hawaya, social acceptance of online matchmaking in the MENA region has seen a measurable improvement, but there’s still a long way to go before all users of matchmaking apps like Hawaya won’t feel the need to hide their identities.