ShipsFocus, a Singapore-based startup focuses on maritime digitalisation, and Quest Ventures, a Singapore-based venture capital, have on Thursday launched the Maritime Fund to boost maritime sector. The first close of the fund was over S$10 million ($7.5 million).

The Maritime Fund will invest in startups and technologies spanning applications in shipping and operations, maritime services, and port operations and services, Quest Ventures said in a statement.

These can include transiting shipping into a digital operating system, as well as addressing shipping Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), greenhouse gas (GHG) emission and regulatory challenges, and deep-tech disruptions ranging from autonomous vehicles to increase in logistics visibility, it added.

The Maritime Fund makes investments at the early Series Seed and Series A stages, according to the statement.

“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,” said Chua Chye Poh, Founder of ShipsFocus and a General Partner of the Maritime Fund.

Meanwhile, Quest Ventures Managing Partner James Tan said, Singapore’s position in the maritime space is further strengthened with the launch of the Maritime Fund.

“Our Quest Ventures ecosystem approach is to tackle challenges, address systemic opportunities, and enable significant differentiation from generic venture funds,” he said.

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.

“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 catalyze investments into deep tech startups that can provide innovative solutions in this sector,” said Tan Kaixin, General Manager of SEEDS Capital.

According to the statement, the maritime industry enables 90 percent of world trade. The early-stage maritime-tech market, already at $100 billion, is poised to triple by 2030. This is a high capital expenditure and high recurring operating expenditure industry ripe for disruptive innovations as it transitions from an analog to a digital world.

Over 50 percent of world shipments, and 9 out of the top 10 ports, are in Asia. China, Japan, and South Korea supply more than 90 percent 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, interdisciplinary skills, and an acutely sensitive understanding when bringing appropriate technologies into maritime operations to work.

Founded in 2016, ShipsFocus is a maritime-dedicated venture studio that creates technology startups and solutions that digitize and demystify the complex maritime web and its myriad operations, linking inter-connected data silos and generating recurring values for users in maritime commerce.

Quest Ventures is a venture capital fund in Asia. Its portfolio of 90+ venture-backed companies operates in more than 150 cities across Asia. Its portfolio companies include unicorns and well-known companies such as Carro, Carousell, ShopBack,, and others.

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