A new fund has been launched, with support from the Singaporean government, to support technological innovation for the maritime industry. Called Motion Ventures, it is targeting SGD$30 million (about US$22.8 million) and has achieved its first closing, with Wilhelmsen, one of the world’s largest shipping networks, and logistics company HHLA as the principals. investors.
Motion Ventures was launched by Rainmaking, the venture capital and investment firm that runs the Startupbootcamp accelerator program, and will jointly invest in startups with SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of government agency Enterprise Singapore.
SEEDS Capital announced in June 2020 its intention to invest SGD$50 million in maritime startups, with the aim of creating more resilient supply chains and solving the problems highlighted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Shaun Hon, general partner at Motion Ventures and director of Rainmaking, told TechCrunch the fund plans to invest in around 20 early-stage startups focused on AI, machine learning and automation, with checks ranging from from SGD 500,000 to SGD 2 million.
“We have our sights set on some of the biggest challenges in the maritime value chain, including decarbonization, supply chain resilience and improving safety. In most cases, the technology to solve industry problems already exists, but the missing link is figuring out how to apply those solutions in the business context,” Hon said.
“That’s what Motion Ventures aims to solve,” he added. “If we can bring together a consortium of industry adopters to connect with entrepreneurs early in the process, we give everyone the best chance of success.”
In addition to capital, Motion Ventures plans to partner startups with well-established maritime companies like Wilhelmsen to help them commercialize and integrate their technology into supply chains. For mentorship, Motion Ventures startups will also have access to the Ocean Ventures Alliance, which was launched by Rainmaking in November 2020, and now includes more than 40 industry leaders from across the maritime value chain.