Singapore: Maritime technology startups to benefit from new initiative


More than 50 promising Singapore-based startups will get liquidity boost thanks to the new initiative by SEEDS Capital.

SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore (ESG), has appointed six co-investment partners to provide the maritime ecosystem a strong leg-up by catalysing a combined S$50 million of investments into maritime technology startups.

The six partners are Innoport, KSL Maritime Ventures, PSA unboXed, Rainmaking, ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures and TecPier.

Supported by ESG and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), this latest initiative by SEEDS Capital aims to drive the growth of the maritime sector through technology and innovation. Strengthening the capability of the sector is expected to enhance in turn the resilience of key economic pillars such as the logistics, manufacturing, and wholesale trade sectors which are reliant on smooth and efficient global supply chain routes.

The appointment of the six partners is announced at Deal Friday today, a platform which connects companies with venture capitals (VCs) and corporates. Since the start of 2020, four virtual sessions have been held profiling Singapore based startups to 240 investors and corporates in Southeast Asia, China and Europe, facilitating over 120 unique connections.

As informed, SEEDS Capital and the appointed partners will invest in early-stage maritime technology startups to develop innovative and sustainable solutions that improve operational efficiency and safety across the different segments of the maritime sector. The partners will provide hands-on assistance in helping early-stage startups to fast-track commercialisation, with mentorship and connection to potential clients through their networks.

“As a global hub for trade and connectivity, we have continually leveraged technology and innovation to develop and facilitate efficient, resilient and secured trade flows. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to accelerate the transformation of our industries. We look forward to working closely with our six co-investment partners to harness their expertise and networks to further strengthen Singapore’s innovation and startup ecosystem,” Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Enterprise Singapore said.

Specifically, Innoport will team up with startups to speed up development of solutions that will push the sector to relook processes, increase efficiency and accelerate digitalisation. This includes conducting pilot test within Schulte Group’s business units, facilitating connections with experts across fields and more.

Additionally, KSL Maritime Ventures will pursue sustainable shipping solutions with a focus on renewables, fintech and vessel technologies, taking a long-term view towards creating new global maritime platforms.

PSA unboXed will work with startups in the maritime, ports and logistics supply chain spaces and potentially deploy their solutions in PSA International’s operations if proven successful.

The fourth partner, Rainmaking, will work with its corporate partners in the next two to three years to drive the growth of more than 100 startups with solutions focusing on decarbonisation, supply chain resilience, artificial intelligence (AI) and deep tech. By working with corporate partners and private equity firms through its platform, Rainmaking aims to accelerate the adoption rate of technology at scale.

What is more, ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures will work with startups to scale development of technology that meets the needs and addresses challenges in the maritime sector. It will focus on solutions broadly in digitalisation, sustainability and deeptech for maritime commerce.

Finally, TecPier will partner with startups developing smart, data-driven solutions to transform global shipping. This includes improving efficiency and transparency in areas such as ship operations and maintenance, port management, and supply chains.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted many business operations and global supply chains. Maritime technology startups will play an important role in accelerating digitalisation and innovation efforts to prepare the maritime industry for a new normal. The combined resources of the six co-investment partners will help catalyse these efforts,” Tan Beng Tee, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Development) said.



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