Meet Startup @TW

Maritime tech startups to get US$36M investment from SEEDS Capital

Billeasy on Unsplash

SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, along with other six co-investment partners, has unveiled its plans to invest US$36 million into maritime tech startups, Sea Trade Maritime has reported.

The partners are Schultz Group’s capital arm Innoport, Kuok Singapore’s venture capital unit KSL Maritime Ventures, PSA unboXed, Rainmaking, ShipsFocus-Quest Ventures, and TecPier.

The initiative seeks to invest in early-stage ventures to develop sustainable solutions that improve operational efficiency and safety across the different segments of the maritime sector.

Ted Tan, Chairman of SEEDS Capital and Deputy CEO of Enterprise Singapore, said: “The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to accelerate the transformation of our industries. As a global hub for trade and connectivity, we have continually leveraged technology and innovation to develop and facilitate efficient, resilient, and secure trade flows.”

Startups will also receive hands-on assistance in fast-tracking commercialisation, with mentorship and connection to potential clients through their networks.

The initiative is also supported by ESG and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA), with the aim to drive the growth of the maritime sector through technology and innovation.

In total, there are more than 50 promising Singaporean startups that can benefit from the joint investments.

According to Tan Beng Tee, MPA’s Assistant Chief Executive (Development), maritime technology startups play an even more important role in accelerating digitalisation and innovation efforts to prepare the maritime industry for a new normal post-COVID-19.

The maritime tech sector in Singapore has seen a rise since last year, when PIER71 (Port Innovation Ecosystem Reimagined @ BLOCK71), a collaboration between the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) and NUS Enterprise, launched a PIER71 Accelerate – a five-week market and business model validation programme joined by 24 startups in November. PIER71 has a mission to build a maritime entrepreneurial and innovation ecosystem in Singapore.

A year ago, Techstars had started dedicated global maritime accelerator called the Eastern Pacific Accelerator powered by Techstars, with Singapore’s largest shipping company Eastern Pacific Shipping (EPS).

The programme saw the first class of nine startups, selected from hundreds of worldwide applicants, selected with consideration and input from EPS’s Operations, Marine Technical, Commercial, IT, Fleet Personnel, and Management teams.

This article was first published on e27, on Jun. 29, 2020