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Motion Ventures debuts S$30M fund to pioneer innovations tackling maritime value chain hurdles

Motion Ventures, the consortium-driven investment fund powered by Rainmaking, has launched today with a S$30M target. Wilhelmsen and HHLA have been confirmed as anchor investors to accelerate start-ups 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 start-ups have the best possible chance to commercialise and find a strategic market fit. It’s an approach that will shake up the start-up 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 start-ups tackling challenges in the maritime value chain from first principle with scalable technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Continuous Intelligence, and HyperAutomation. Motion Ventures is evaluating opportunities to invest in companies and encourages ambitious founders to reach out to the team.

The fund’s structure offers start-ups unprecedented 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. This represents a unique and first-of-its-kind fund structure in the maritime industry, to ensure quality corporate participation and a start-up scale path model.

Motion Ventures will tap into Rainmaking’s global networks to source for suitable technology start-ups. The fund will also offer portfolio companies advantages to scale via its Venture Studio and Open Innovation Platform that facilitates commercial partnerships between start-ups and Fortune 500 companies.

Complementing the fund’s go-to-market initiatives will be the previously announced Ocean Ventures Alliance, a maritime innovation advisory network. Since launching in November 2020 the Alliance has brought together more than 40 maritime value chain industry leaders so future portfolio companies can tap on specific domain experts for guidance and mentorship.

Motion Ventures will jointly invest into start-ups 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 start-ups with newly appointed partners, such as Rainmaking.

“I am energised to see the innovation and transformation transitions taking place in the maritime industry. With the unique combination of capital, competence and corporate capability, I have no doubt that Motion Ventures will also resonate with other forward-leaning industry stakeholders and ambitious start-ups wanting to make a meaningful impact. 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,” said Nakul Malhotra, VP open innovation, Wilhelmsen.

“The participation into Motion Ventures as an anchor investor allows HHLA to collaborate across the industry to accelerate innovation in the space as a consortium. We’re excited to work synergistically with other anchors to adopt, shape and scale the future of innovation,” said Christian Langer, chief digital officer, HHLA.

“Rainmaking is a leading player for innovation with extensive global networks and the Motion Ventures’ consortium approach towards driving innovation within the maritime value chain is an exciting proposition. We are encouraged by the progress of the Motion Ventures fund and look forward to a strong partnership in growing the maritime tech ecosystem in Singapore,” said Geoffrey Yeo, general manager of SEEDS Capital.

The Motion Ventures’ board of directors include industry veterans, serial entrepreneurs, investors and Rainmaking’s partners and co-founders, Michael Pomerleau and Nicklas Viby Fursund. Shaun Hon, who is also a director at Rainmaking, is the fund’s general partner.

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