Azimuth: Product development

Mission

a) The mission of the company: Reduce CO2 transportation emissions by using waterways instead of trucks.
b) The mission of the software: To create autonomous technologies for boats to make them competitive against today’s alternatives. 

Users

a) Container ships.
b) Ferries (mid-size vessels).
b) Small vessels.

The mission of the company is to transfer freight from trucks to boats. The reason why this is not happening today is for the ratio crew/boat size that makes it not competitive. The smaller the boat, the more expensive the crew is in comparison. For container ships, the crew costs are around 6% of total operations, while for small vessels, that cost gets to 50% or more. Besides that, if we want to transfer cargo from trucks to boats, we need to be in the place where that could happen, like cities. NYC, San Francisco, Boston, etc. They are all cities with available waterways to transport freight.

Pain points

a) It’s too expensive to move small boats in waterways. More than half of the cost is the crew.
b) Because of visibility, the operational time of vessels on the water is limited. 
c) They can’t access the final destination, only can move through waterways. 

To improve waterways usage for cargo and reduce CO2 emissions from trucks, we need to make them competitive, that’s why pain point A is the one to solve first.

Solutions

a) Create autonomous systems based on cameras (software).
b) Create autonomous systems based on lidar (software + hardware).
c) Create a boat from zero that is autonomous and electric (hardware first, then software). 

By measuring effort and impact, we choose option A as the one to follow because it is the one that could allow us to have the fastest deployment with less friction. Most boats already have cameras, and if they do not, they are not an expensive item, whereas lidar implementation is. On the other hand, the electric transition could happen once the autonomous software is developed.

Metrics + MVP

a) N*: # boats using the technology. 
b) # Of days without incidents.
c) # Of functioning hours per day, week, month. 

The MVP took place in Zurich, Switzerland, where we mounted cameras on a fisherman boat to measure data and test our systems. While working on the MVP, we received letters of intent from ferry companies. And from VCs looking for investing opportunities.

Responsibilities

• Developed market research analysis to understand competition and differentiation.
• Led the business part of the company, including business development and marketing strategy.
• Drove product vision and its roadmap.
• Designed the company's website and branding.

Achievements

• Developed and launched a minimal viable product leading a cross-functional team in under 45 days.
• Executed a marketing strategy to add the first 2 B2B customers.
• Incorporated customer feedback to improve the product.

Patricio Daher