About us

The Windward story

Imagine a country 40 times bigger than the United States. There are no police, no surveillance cameras, no smartphones – an ocean of emptiness where everyone is pretty much blind to what’s at stake.

Until 2010, this was the high seas. Then along came Windward. It’s mission: go deeper into maritime data than anyone has gone before. Initially, it focused on finding ships involved in piracy, but quickly realised its technology could do so much more.

Imbued with a passion for the sea and a desire to create something big and meaningful, Windward set about becoming the first company to model maritime risks. It combined deep domain expertise with data science to create a technology platform that helps organizations assess these risks, and anticipate impactful events. Windward’s insights led to major drug busts; helped curb oil smuggling; and even enabled the United Nations Security Council to discover ships helping North Korea evade sanctions.

As Windward’s platform evolved into today’s advanced analytics the process became more automated. It now identifies for customers previously invisible patterns created by ship movements, and assesses what they mean. And because maritime risk applies to all sea-based activities, Windward is now applying its expertise to marine insurance, enabling actuaries to build models to more accurately quantify risk; helping underwriters reduce losses and boost profits; and encouraging fleets to sail more safely.

Looking to its own future, Windward aims to model all maritime risks: every ship that might crash; every cargo that could be delayed; every dock that might suffer bottlenecks; and every company sweating on just-in-time deliveries. Supply chain disruptions will be anticipated, mitigating their impact, and even preventing them from happening in the first place.

The oceans are changing rapidly. Technology, regulation and climate change are transforming the way we interact with the maritime domain. Yet understanding what’s happening at sea has become more critical and more complicated, throwing up challenges that can only be overcome with deep domain expertise, data and Artificial Intelligence. That’s the Windward way.

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Timeline

2000
UN’s International Maritime Organisation rules that all vessels must switch on and use their AIS.
2004
  • AIS ruling comes into effect for all ships
AIS ruling comes into effect for all ships
2010
  • Commercial satellites become widely available.
  • Windward founded by Ami Daniel & Matan Peled.
Windward founded by Ami Daniel & Matan Peled.
2011
  • Windward seed round raises $1.5m.
Windward seed round raises $1.5m
2012
  • Windward launches first operational version of Windward Intelligence, then known as MARINT.
Windward launches first operational version of Windward Intelligence, then known as MARINT.
2013
  • Windward Series A round raises $5m from Aleph.
  • Windward hires 20th employee.
Windward Series A round raises $5m from Aleph.
2014
  • Windward wins Frost & Sullivan Global Technology Innovation Leader Award.
  • Israel’s Chief Scientist awards Windward first prize in Homeland Security & Cybersecurity Competition.
Windward wins Frost & Sullivan Global Technology Innovation Leader Award.
2015
  • Windward Series B round raises $10.8m from investors including Aleph, Horizons Ventures and former Thomson Reuters CEO Tom Glocer.
  • (Ret.) General David Petraeus and Start-Up Nation co-author, Dan Senor, invest in Windward.
Windward raises $10.8m from Aleph, Horizons Ventures and General David Petraeus.
2016
  • Windward named one of World’s Most Innovative Companies by FastCompany.
  • Windward brings on board another investor: former BP CEO, Lord Browne.
  • Windward appears on front page of the Financial Times.
  • Windward moves to current offices, on 35th floor of Tel-Aviv’s Adgar Tower.
  • Windward hires 50th employee.
Windward named one of World’s Most Innovative Companies by FastCompany.
2017
  • Windward appears on front page of The Wall Street Journal.
  • Windward enters marine insurance market.
  • Windward starts trial with Lloyd’s, the world’s leading insurance market.
Windward enters marine insurance market; starts trial with Lloyd’s.
2018
  • Windward adds satellite imagery to its platform after signing partnership agreement with Planet.
  • Windward signs agreement with one of Europe’s largest marine insurers.
  • Windward technology used by UN Security Council to reveal how North Korea evades sanctions.
  • Windward appoints Lord Browne to its Board of Directors.
Former BP CEO Lord Browne joins Windward’s Board of Directors.

Management

Ami Daniel, Co-Founder & CEO
Ami has been building organisations for two decades. First, there was a community center in Haifa, aimed at promoting coexistence. Then came an NGO to inspire troubled teens. He served as a naval officer, before going on to set up Windward. Ami holds an LLB from Tel-Aviv University.
Matan Peled, Co-Founder & Head of Windward U.S.
Matan’s passion for shipping and the seas stems from his early years, spent sailing, surfing and breathing the ocean. He co-founded Windward with Ami Daniel, whom he met while serving as an officer in Israel’s navy. Matan holds a BA in Business Administration from Herzliya’s IDC university.
Erez Katan, CFO
Erez joined Windward in 2016, bringing with him more than two decades’ experience with early stage startups and publicly-traded high-tech companies. He spent 15 years at PWC, including seven as Technology Partner, leading the firm’s Software Practice in Israel. Erez also held the role of CFO at U.S.-based Bolt insurance (acquired by CVC) and YCD Multimedia. At B-Visible he was co-founder and CEO. He’s also a mean tennis player.
Alli Avishai, Chief Business Officer
Alli boarded the good ship Windward in June 2017. Prior to joining, she spent 16 years - in two stints - at Nasdaq-listed communications software pioneers, Amdocs, rising to the role of Head of Sales & Marketing (APAC). In between, Alli was COO at Focalinfo, a web analytics software company acquired by Verint; VP of Global Professional Services at dBMotion, acquired by AllScripts; and VP Head of Digital at Comverse.
Eran Dvey Aharon, VP R&D
Eran joined the Windward crew in 2017 as VP R&D, a role he also held at mobile travel app, WorldMate, and MyHeritage. Previously, he helped co-found grocery comparison site, MySupermarket. A self-confessed geek, Eran has been writing code since he was 10 and is a passionate reader of sci-fi & fantasy novels. He holds a BSc in computer science from the Technion, Israel’s equivalent of MIT.
Ory Yassur, VP Product
You could say Ory is a product man. He’s been Windward’s VP Product since 2017. He previously held the same role at web-personalisation startup Dynamic Yield, and was Head of Product at Taboola. He spent eight years at Israel’s leading online news-site, Ynet, where he led Business Development, and even had a stint as a psychometric exam teacher.
Shani Kotzer, Head of HR
Shani came aboard in November 2016. She was previously Head of Culture at VoIP pioneer, Vonage. And founded SeeV, Israel’s largest recruitment company for the tech industry, subsequently bought by Matrix. She is passionate about building Windward’s culture, and can often be heard saying: “Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast”.

Investors

Since its founding in 2010, Windward has grown tremendously. To support this growth, the company has raised funds from a number of investors. These include:

Aleph
Aleph is a VC fund focused on partnering with great entrepreneurs to help scale them into large, meaningful companies and globally recognized brands.
Horizons Ventures
Horizons is a Hong Kong-based VC. An early backer of Facebook, Spotify and Airbnb, it manages investments for Asia’s most celebrated businessman, Li-Ka-shing.
XL Innovate
XL Innovate is a VC fund that invests in companies addressing the world's most complex risks with new technologies and products for the insurance industry.
John Browne
Lord Browne was BP CEO from 1995-2007. He’s now chairman of L1 Energy, the Francis Crick Institute, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. In April 2018, he joined Windward’s Board of Directors.
David Petraeus
Retired General David Petraeus is a former director of the CIA. He commanded U.S. forces in Iraq and Afghanistan and is now a member of legendary investment firm, KKR.
Tom Glocer
Tom Glocer is the former CEO of Thomson Reuters. He’s now managing partner of Angelic Ventures, LP, a family office investing in fintech, media, “big data” and healthcare.