theDOCK Announces First Closing of a Targeted $30 Million Fund to Back Maritime and Supply Chain Startups
The fund also announced its first investment in ASIO Advanced Control Solutions which specializes in visual data analysis based on Artificial Intuition
theDOCK, a Maritime-Tech venture capital based in Israel, announced today the successful initial closing of theDOCK Navigator II fund, as well as its first portfolio company investment. This second fund will focus on early-stage startups developing groundbreaking technologies to revolutionize ports, shipping, supply chain, and offshore sectors, targeting Israeli and international companies. In its initial closing, the fund secured already close to $10 million and anticipates to hold a final closing at up to $30 million by the end of 2022.
Founded in 2017 by Hannan Carmeli and Nir Gartzman, veterans of the Israeli high-tech ecosystem and also graduates of Israel’s naval academy, theDOCK has pioneered global Maritime-Tech innovation right from day one. Today theDOCK joins hands with a diverse global network of accelerators, tech hubs, the Israeli Innovation Authority (IIA), and other stakeholders to jointly promote innovation for the sector.
theDOCK’s first pre-seed fund which was raised in 2018 is now fully deployed into a portfolio of 8 companies which includes Orca AI, WAVE BL, DockTech, AiDock, ArcusTeam, and others. In its second fund, theDOCK will be scouting for investments in seed to round A opportunities to promote innovative solutions addressing pressing global challenges in the Maritime and Supply Chain sectors. The fund also plans to continue nurturing and supporting the growing number of talented entrepreneurs in their ideation and pre-seed activities.
“The global transportation domain which includes sectors such as maritime, ports, terminal operators and the whole supply chain is high on the agenda of corporates and government decision-makers alike. The importance of maintaining a smooth and nimble, yet resilient, supply chain is clear today more than ever,” says Hannan Carmeli, theDOCK’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner. “This makes the fund attractive to strategic investors who are determined to up their game by introducing digital innovation to their business, as well as to financial investors who seek returns in an emerging sector,” added Carmeli.
The fund has already shortlisted a few investment opportunities, and announced its first investment in ASIO – an early-stage startup specializing in developing smart visual data analysis solutions based on their patent-pending Artificial Intuition technology. When applied to port operations, the solutions dramatically increase operational efficiency and safety using existing deployed standard camera systems. The company, which graduated the accelerator jointly operated by TAU Ventures (Tel Aviv University’s VC) and the Israeli Security Agency, signed recently a few commercial agreements with customers, and runs pilots with two major global terminal operators.
“A vertical (thematic) fund has the advantage of attracting leading global corporates to support its activity. This literally represents a ‘blue ocean’ of investment opportunities compared to other sectors which are viewed as ‘red ocean’ such as auto-tech, fintech and others with investors competing over opportunities,” said Nir Gartzman, theDOCK’s Co-Founder and Managing Partner. “We are seeking solutions born and raised for the maritime and logistic sectors (“pure-play” startups), however, we also specialize in our ability to introduce unique use cases from the sector to startups addressing other sectors, and create a win-win outcome to all involved,” summarized Gartzman.
The fund managed to attract a healthy mix of strategic and financial investors (Limited Partners). These include large global terminal operators, Greek ship owners and managers, Israeli maritime services and logistics operators, a UK-based fund of funds, and a few financial investors, as well as high profile individuals from the sector who decided to personally invest in the fund. The fund will also place special emphasis on ESG (Environment, Social, and Governance) innovation which contributes to an industry facing urgent environmental and social pressures.