Three new maritime and supply chain industry leaders have joined the corporate consortium driving Motion Ventures’ $30M investment fund to expand the corporate consortium’s geographic reach to Japan and Greece, and introduces fresh strategic capital to startups.

The corporate investors include MOL PLUS – the corporate venture arm of Japanese shipping conglomerate Mitsui OSK Lines, Signal Ventures – the corporate venture arm of Signal Group a diversified shipping services group from Greece and IMC Ventures – the corporate venture arm of IMC Industrial Group an integrated maritime and industrial solutions provider from Singapore. Current corporates in the consortium include Wilhelmsen and HHLA who are both anchor investors of the fund.

This brings Motion Ventures’ corporate consortium to five maritime conglomerates. To date, no other maritime fund has had as much participation from major maritime conglomerates. “Introducing MOL PLUS, IMC Industrial Group and Signal Ventures into our corporate consortium brings us closer to our goal of accelerating the industry-wide adoption of new technologies. What most startup founders underestimate is how difficult it can be to adapt their solution for multiple conglomerates. This problem is amplified further in the maritime and supply chain sectors because of their scale of operations, which is why it’s so important to bring in more players across the value chain,” said Shaun Hon, General Partner of Motion Ventures.

Motion Ventures pioneered the corporate consortium driving its fund as a way to bringing together industry leaders with a mutual interest in innovation adoption via an investment fund. Startups benefit from strategic capital which gives them access to insights from corporates to help them build their solutions with the industry context in mind. Meanwhile, corporate investors can access opportunities to shape new products and technologies, which could drive more value into their own operations. Motion Ventures’ consortium now includes global maritime and supply chain corporates with a strong market presence in Singapore, Japan, Greece, Denmark and throughout Europe. Motion Ventures also has backing from the Singapore Government’s SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, which jointly invest in startups with the fund.

“Motion Ventures’ consortium brings much more than capital to the table and have shown that they really have a founders’ interests at the core of what they’re doing. We are now launching proof-of-concepts with several industry-leading corporates and are exploring other commercial relationships for our solutions,” said Nick Clarke, CEO and Co-Founder, Greywing.

Motion Ventures invested in Greywing’s latest seed round which saw participation from the likes of Flexport, Y-Combinator, Entrepreneur First and more. Opportunities to connect with Motion Ventures’ corporate consortium has helped to open doors for maritime and supply chain startups beyond capital to new partnerships, pilots, and industry introductions. Through Motion Ventures, four of the fund’s target companies now have a working or commercial collaboration with at least one of the companies in the consortium.

Corporates and startups in this ecosystem also benefit from Motion Ventures’ quarterly closed-door roundtables, which drives in-depth conversations between both sides on ways to tackle hurdles to innovation adoption. “Motion Ventures’ corporate consortium approach has resonated with us as a way to supercharge startups and reduce innovation risks alongside other established industry leaders. We look forward to collaborating with like-minded industry peers to spearhead the future of maritime and supply chain,” said Takuya Sakamoto, Representative, MOL PLUS. “It’s been invigorating to speak with the Motion Ventures’ team. Not only has it opened new doors to the latest technologies that our business units can use, but it’s given us an avenue to add strategic value to the founders by helping them mould the solutions that will ultimately, shape the maritime value chain of tomorrow,” said James Ong, Investment Committee, IMC Ventures.

“Motion Ventures has an impressive network of big names from across the maritime industry which supports innovators. This global consortium of corporations reduces the risk around the adoption of maritime and supply chain technologies and enables start-ups to focus on value creation and growth,” said Nikolas Pyrgiotis, VP of Technology Ventures, Signal Ventures. Motion Ventures’ Co-Founders Michael Pomerleau and Nicklas Viby Fursund, will also be joining the fund as new General Partners.

Source: Hellenic Shipping News