Maritime company Windward floats on LSE in first Israeli listing in five years

QINGDAO, CHINA - DECEMBER 03: Aerial view of shipping containers sitting stacked at Qingdao Port on December 3, 2021 in Qingdao, Shandong Province of China. (Photo by Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images)
Windward sought admission to the stock market in a bid to expand its profile after raising approximately £34.5m ($45.7m) before expenses from institutional investors such as Hargreave Hale. Photo: Zhang Jingang/VCG via Getty Images

One of the biggest maritime initial public offerings (IPO) took place on Monday, as Windward (WNWD.L) listed on London Stock Exchange’s AIM market.

The predictive intelligence company, first established in 2010, applies artificial intelligence (AI) technology to transform global maritime trade and is the first Israeli technology firm to float in the City for over five years.

The company develops AI technology for analysing maritime risks by providing real-time data, and mapping and analysing all the information about shipping traffic. This allows users to make decisions based on the information and manage their risks.

Windward sought admission to the stock market in a bid to expand its profile after raising approximately £34.5m ($45.7m) before expenses from institutional investors such as Hargreave Hale.

It placed 22,258,065 new and existing ordinary shares at a price of 155 pence per share, comprising approximately £26.3m of new capital for the company and £8.2m for certain existing shareholders and option holders.

On admission, it had 81,637,638 ordinary shares in issue. The market capitalisation of the company at the placing price was £126.5m.

Shares climbed as much as 5% higher on the day.

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“We built a platform not a product,” Ami Daniel, chief executive officer, told Yahoo Finance UK. “We’ve built a platform that can take all the shipping information on vessels, cargos, and companies, and put that together with one dynamic view of risk, and a profile of activity.

“This is a growth company, and this is a growth investment for the London market. We are going to put this capital to work.”

Daniel, who previously served in the Israeli navy for over six years with his co-founder, added: “Our proposed admission to AIM marks an important milestone in our journey and I would like to thank all of our existing and new investors for supporting our vision, and importantly, all of the team at Windward who have made this possible.”

The company provides its platform on a software-as-a-service (SaaS) business model paid for by an annual subscription.

It is used by more than 70 globally spread customers, including a number of leading participants across the maritime industry covering banks, commodity traders, insurers, government agencies, and major energy and shipping companies.

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Some of these customers include BP (BP.L), Shell (RDSB.L), and HSBC (HSBA.L), as well as leading government agencies like the US Department of Defence and Homeland Security, Frontex, and the United Nations.

“For many years most of our clients were public market customers, so governments, but really in the last few years the market opened completely because of new regulations and opportunities,” Daniel said.

He added: "The supply chain crisis happened because of COVID, it is not going away therefore a lot more businesses that were a bit old-school or much more digitalised, are looking for SaaS solutions because they don't want to build their own, or they are not that big."

It also has a presence in five additional locations around the world outside of Israel, being the UK, USA, Denmark and the UAE.

Windward’s chairman since 2018 is former BP boss Lord Browne.

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