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SAP Startup Spotlight Series: Sedna

E3 Magazine has selected the most exciting companies to feature in our SAP Startup Spotlight series. In today's episode, we feature Sedna, a company that provides a platform for the maritime and supply chain industries.
Laura Cepeda
September 6, 2023

Bill Dobie is the Founder and CEO of Sedna, a data-driven communication platform for the Supply Chain which enriches messages with data, sorts emails, and enables teams to make better decisions to drive commercial success.

Bill brings over 20 years of experience bringing technology and people together within software and global trade, and creating opportunities for innovation and growth. Prior to setting up Sedna, Bill founded Navarik, a pioneer in the delivery of software as a service to energy companies, in 2000, and started Stage 3 Systems, which ran major software services for shipowners, commodity companies, and agents around the world, in 2010.

Bill Dobie, Founder and CEO, Sedna

1. What is Sedna and what do you offer?

Sedna is a data-driven communication platform for maritime and the supply chain to harness the power of email and advance profitability. Essentially, maritime businesses primarily use email to conduct trade. While it’s a place to communicate, a source for the latest market information and provides a historical record of transactions, existing email systems fail to fully address the problems of email volume, security, complexity and ease of action - leading to siloed ways of working, lost data, and inbox overload.

As a low-margin industry, email offers the biggest untapped opportunity to operate at higher profitability. That's why we're working to change that. Thousands of users at leading maritime and supply chain companies, businesses around the world like Bunge, FedNav, Glencore, Oldendorff, Norden, OMV, Stena Bulk and many others are already using our platform. We are constantly introducing new features and partnering with other digital maritime tools to sync their data with email and bring everything under one roof. All in all, this helps our customers save time, maximize efficiency, facilitate decision making, and ultimately work towards our vision of making trade faster.

Working behind the scenes, Sedna is a 90-strong global team. Our Headquarters are in London, with an office in Singapore, and employees working across Canada and in locations around the world.

2. How does your solution work?

The key aspect that sets Sedna apart is our unique ability to automatically identify the relevant voyage or transaction associated with each email and determine the specific team members who need to be involved. This process is the default, out-of-the-box functionality of Sedna, and it significantly enhances our clients' efficiency, productivity and profitability right from the start. Once this essential data connection is established, we then offer a range of clever collaboration features, such as shared inboxes and our innovative 'Activity Panel,' designed to further enhance team collaboration and communication.

Plus, earlier this year we launched a set of ten new features that use Sedna's own artificial intelligence (AI) technology to automate repetitive and manual work tasks—like invoice processing, managing quotes, deleting personal data, and keeping track of service-level agreements (SLAs) and estimated time of arrivals (ETAs)—to help save businesses time and

These are all available to request as ‘add-ons’ in our Connected Apps page, acting as a marketplace for users to find out more and select tools and maritime tech integrations, like with ABRAXA, Dataloy, Veson, and Voyager Portal to bring key business information under one roof and enhance the Sedna experience.

3. Do customers need special technology/devices to access your service?

Using email as our basis, we do not rely on any special technology or devices—but, recognizing, a change of email platform can take some adjusting to (both technically and behaviorally) our team of tech experts are here to support customers’ implementation journeys. We help to navigate technical decisions and data migration ahead of implementation, and provide in-depth training and support for the business after they launch.

4. Why did you start Sedna?

After starting my career in chartering in 1995, I combined my academic background in Computing and went on to start working in maritime technology, building bits of software to help the shipping company overcome its paper-based ways of thinking in order to speed up their processes and generate more revenue. Over the following two decades, I built probably a dozen applications or so around improving workflows—including another business I launched, Navarik, for the oil industry in 2000.

Yet, throughout that journey, I would consistently encounter email. Even when new work apps were built to try and streamline processes, that actually ended up producing more email. That’s when I realized email was the thing we needed to tackle. That’s where the real pain point was.

With email the world’s biggest conversational platform—and commerce needing conversations—I realized that we weren’t going to move people away from email. Rather, we needed a modern-day email platform, a digital hub to go above and beyond how we operate in our inboxes today. Sedna was officially launched in 2017.

5. How are you connected to SAP? Can your solution be integrated in SAP systems and if so, how?

SAP has been a great supporter and partner of Sedna since we first launched, having invested in us as part of our Series A in December 2019. We are integrated with the SAP Transport and Logistics Management System (TMS) and at several customers we have integrations between email flows and SAP S/4 Hana for the automatic categorization of emails.

6. How has SAP.iO’s involvement impacted your journey?

SAP.iO’s has been an important asset in our early conversations with enterprise customers assuring them this is a startup built to scale and serve their complex needs.

7. What is the next step with Sedna?

We are continuing to hone in our work in the maritime and supply chain industry and producing new features, tools, and partnerships to support shipping’s digitalization journey and accelerate our quest to make trade go faster.

This is supported by a $42 million investment in Sedna, provided by global software investor Insight Partners with participation from GH Goh Ventures. The increased investment comes at a critical time as the shipping industry undergoes a quantum leap in the way it conducts its operations and we’re excited to continue to work with Insight’s great leadership to build on our ambition.

We are excited to see what the future holds for Sedna! Be sure to share your questions, comments or concerns in the comment section below. If you want to see more of this series, check out our previous article.

Laura Cepeda

Laura Cepeda is Managing Editor for

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Working on the SAP basis is crucial for successful S/4 conversion. 

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