Shaun Hon, 29

Co-founder and general partner at Motion Ventures

Having cut his teeth in the automotive industry as a solutions-driven engineer, Shaun started Motion Ventures, a fund that supports the tech innovation of maritime start-ups, in February this year. “The maritime industry is one worth investing in,” he writes in an op-ed for tech platform e27. “While 80 per cent of global trade volume moves by sea, it only creates 2.2 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.”

Motion Ventures is part of Rainmaking, the venture builder firm where Shaun also holds directorship. European transport and logistic conglomerates Wilhelmsen and HHLA as well as Seeds Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, are debut investors. The $30 million, consortium-driven fund aims to improve the maritime industry’s biggest problems like decarbonisation, and supply chain resilience and safety, by bringing together corporate partners and start-ups into its portfolio.

“Motion Ventures wears an investment lens to ensure mileage and longevity to the start-up’s business, while our corporate partners wear the customer lens to ensure that the start-up’s product solves pressing pain points.”

Large shipping and port businesses are notoriously resistant to change, thus getting them on board the fund is a big win for Shaun. “The willingness to collaborate not just ensures the rapid adoption of technologies, but also the chances of survival for start-ups as they iterate faster to solve a market need. I’m excited to continue proving our hypothesis of accelerating technological adoption with our corporate consortium. We’ve seen early signals of product-market-fit for a few start- ups through work with both Wilhelmsen and HHLA, and we’re keen to keep testing the scaling element of our hypothesis.”

(Photography: Joel Low | Art Direction: Audrey Chan | Hair: Ann Lin/Athens Salon | Make-up: Sophia Chia/Makeup Works)

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