AsiaFinance and InsuranceTech

New maritime startup fund launches in Singapore

​Motion Ventures​, a consortium-driven investment fund powered by Rainmaking​, launched today in Singapore. The fund has a S$30m ($22.8m) target and has completed its first close – with Wilhelmsen and Hamburg’s HHLA as anchor investors – to accelerate startups solving maritime value chain hurdles with strategic capital and support.

“Motion Ventures is an innovation opportunity that tackles maritime value chain hurdles through a fresh industry consortium. For the first time, first-mover corporations like Wilhelmsen will bring together centuries of industry legacy, capital, resources and insight to ensure startups have the best possible chance to commercialise and find a strategic market fit. It’s an approach that will shake up the startup and corporate relationship and we’re excited to work with bold founders who are ready to make a meaningful impact in maritime value chains,” ​said ​Shaun Hon, general partner at Motion Ventures and director at Rainmaking​.

Motion Ventures will target early-stage startups tackling challenges in the maritime value chain from first principle with scalable technologies such as artificial intelligence, continuous intelligence, and hyperautomation.

The fund’s structure offers startups access to key maritime firms through the consortium of corporate investors and opens potential traction pathways across the value chain. Simultaneously for the anchors, the structure offers a de-risking process by offering insight and participation in the investment evaluations.

It’s an approach that will shake up the startup and corporate relationship

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

“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,” s​aid ​Nakul Malhotra, vice president of open innovation at Wilhelmsen.

Singapore is already a hotbed for maritime startups with Eastern Pacific Shipping’s accelerator programme and Pier71, a startup collaboration initiative founded by the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore among a host of startup initiatives in the Lion Republic.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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