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Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Maritime Logistics Professional

May 12, 2021

theDOCK to Launch New Fund Focused on Maritime Tech

(Photo: theDOCK)

(Photo: theDOCK)

Israeli maritime tech venture capital firm theDOCK said it plans to launch a second fund—Navigator II—that will focus on investments in digital solutions attending to the needs of maritime, supply chain and offshore operations.

The maritime-focused startups backer, which closed its first fund, Navigator I, in 2018, said it has seen an accelerating deal flow of startups and compelling investment opportunities in the domain alongside impressive performance of past investments and more strategic investors expressing interest to become limited partners (LP) in the fund. It added that these trends have been further amplified by the overall increased awareness of the criticality of supply chain resilience following events such as COVID-19 and disruptions triggered by the recent blockage of the Suez Canal.

So far, theDOCK has acquired share equity in 10 early-stage startups, with deal sizes up to $100,000. The upcoming fund plans to support more advanced stage companies. It targets $30 million for the final closing, and is planned to focus on early-stage (and up to round A) opportunities.

Being a thematic (vertical) fund, theDOCK's Navigator II benefits from a vast network of partners and high-profile experts who contribute to the screening processes and benefit from its outcome, theDOCK said.

The firm's founders have shared that initial closing and first capital calls are expected to take place in the coming few months. Hannan Carmeli, co-founder and managing partner of theDOCK, said, "In previous months we have found several interesting investment opportunities, to the extent that we will shortly announce our newest investments for theDOCK Navigator II Fund."

Nir Gartzman, co-founder and managing partner of theDOCK, said, "We are excited about those LPs who have already expressed their confidence in this joint undertaking. They range from large corporations leading the space to high-profile individuals with many years of experience and vast knowledge. Together we all win."

Investors in the new fund include strategic partners of theDOCK, leading industry players, investors in the first fund, fund of funds and private investors. Among those professional, high-profile maritime and logistics leaders are Ibrahim Gokcen and Doron Grosman who, after realizing the opportunity, made a personal commitment to invest in theDOCK Navigator II fund.

Gokcen, former chief digital officer at Maersk, former CTO at Schneider Electric and a strategic advisor to several innovative startups and board member of public and private companies, said, "I believe it is the right time to invest in maritime tech. The industry sits at the intersection of several megatrends such as supply chain security, climate change, and ocean ecosystems that will shape the lives and livelihoods of populations for the foreseeable future. Investing in great ideas around digitalization and decarbonization in this space is good for profit and good for the planet. I believe theDOCK's second fund is the right vehicle especially in light of the success we have seen so far from the first fund, and the decades of combined industry experience of the management team who are both in a great position and also in one of the best innovation locations in the world to identify and scale companies in this space."

Grosman, a global maritime executive, who also partnered with theDOCK, said, "The global maritime sector is undergoing a digital revolution. This has been evident for the last few years, and has been further amplified by recent events such as COVID-19. I believe that leaders in the sector ought to be involved with digital initiatives, allowing the entire supply chain to benefit from holistic digitization. Israel has been known for its creativity and innovation enabling companies like Autotech, Fintech, Cyber, and others to create transformative digital change. Through VCs such as theDOCK, the global maritime and logistics sector will now get the benefit of this innovativeness and technology commercialization."