SGD$30m investment fund consortium to back maritime tech start-ups

A SGD$30 million investment fund consortium has been launched to support technology start-ups in the maritime value chain, backed by tech accelerator Rainmaking and with Wilhelmsen and HHLA (Hamburger Hafen und Logistik AG) as anchor investors.

The Motion Ventures fund will target early-stage start-ups tackling maritime challenges from first principle employing scalable technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Continuous Intelligence, and HyperAutomation.

The group says it is ready to begin evaluating opportunities to invest in companies and encourages ambitious founders to reach out to the team.

“Motion Ventures is an innovation opportunity that tackles maritime value chain hurdles through a fresh industry consortium,” said Shaun Hon, General Partner at Motion Ventures and Director at Rainmaking.

“For the first time, first-mover corporations like Wilhelmsen will bring together centuries of industry legacy, capital, resources and insight to ensure start-ups have the best possible chance to commercialise and find a strategic market fit.”

“It’s an approach that will shake up the start-up and corporate relationship and we’re excited to work with bold founders who are ready to make a meaningful impact in maritime value chains.”

Motion Ventures will jointly invest into start-ups with SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore. This follows SEEDS Capital’s SGD$50 million commitment in June 2020 to co-invest into maritime technology start-ups with newly appointed partners, such as Rainmaking.

Complementing the fund’s go-to-market initiatives will be the previously announced Ocean Ventures Alliance, a maritime innovation advisory network. Since launching in November 2020 the Alliance has brought together more than 40 maritime value chain industry leaders so future portfolio companies can tap on specific domain experts for guidance and mentorship.

“I am energised to see the innovation and transformation transitions taking place in the maritime industry,” said Nakul Malhotra, VP Open Innovation, Wilhelmsen.

“With the unique combination of capital, competence and corporate capability, I have no doubt that Motion Ventures will also resonate with other forward-leaning industry stakeholders and ambitious start-ups wanting to make a meaningful impact.”

“Being the first anchor of this inclusive collaboration approach to seek scalable future solutions is an inherently exciting proposition and indeed in line with Wilhelmsen’s vision of shaping the maritime industry.”

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Rob O'Dwyer

Rob is Chief Network Officer and one of the founders of Smart Maritime Network. He also serves as Chairman of the Smart Maritime Council. Rob has worked in the maritime technology sector since 2005, managing editorial for a range of leading publications in the transport and logistics sector. Get in touch by email by clicking here, or on LinkedIn by clicking here.

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