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Maritime Sector Gets Venture Capital Boost from Top Asian Fund

ShipsFocus and Quest Ventures announce the launch of Maritime Fund. The first close of the fund at just over SGD 10 million (USD 7.5 million) is a significant milestone for the maritime industry. The maritime industry enables 90% of world trade. The early-stage maritime-tech market, already at USD 100 billion, is poised to triple by 2030.

This is a high CAPEX and high recurring OPEX industry ripe for disruptive innovations as it transitions from an analogue to a digital world. Over 50% of world shipments, and 9 out of the top 10 ports, are in Asia. China, Japan, and South Korea supply more than 90% of new ships every year. To have safe, efficient, and sustainable supply chains, the ShipsFocus team believes in the need to shine a light on the systemic pain points plaguing global supply chains.

But to achieve effective innovations and adoption in maritime requires a combination of domain expertise, inter-disciplinary skills and an acutely sensitive understanding when bringing appropriate technologies into maritime operations to work. The Maritime Fund will invest in startups and technologies spanning applications in shipping & operations, maritime services, and port operations & services. These can include transiting shipping into a digital operating system, reducing shipping ESG, GHG emission and regulatory challenges, and deep-tech disruptions ranging from autonomous vehicles to increase in logistics visibility.

Mr. Chua Chye Poh, Founder of ShipsFocus and a General Partner of the Maritime Fund said, “The Maritime Fund is a strategic part of the ShipsFocus venture studio model to invest in one of the most untapped opportunities of our lifetime. Recent technological advances enable us now to solve some of the world’s most entrenched maritime and supply chain problems in ways not possible before. The time is now!” Mr. James Tan, Managing Partner at Quest Ventures said, “Singapore’s position in the maritime space is further strengthened with the launch of the Maritime Fund. Our Quest Ventures ficant differentiation from generic venture funds.” Quest Ventures, in partnership with ShipsFocus, is one of SEEDS Capital’s appointed co-investment partners in the maritime sector. SEEDS Capital is the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, the government agency championing enterprise development.

Ms. Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital, said, “The maritime sector is a critical part of Singapore’s economy. The growth of relevant tech startups in this area will help strengthen the sector’s capabilities and address the efficiency and sustainability issues as the industry transforms. SEEDS Capital is pleased to support ShipsFocus and Quest Ventures in their debut fund to catalyse investments into deep tech startups that can provide innovative solutions in this sector.” The Maritime Fund makes investments at the early Series Seed and Series A stages
Source: ShipsFocus and Quest Ventures

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