ZEBOX, an international accelerator network founded by shipping conglomerate CMA CGM to bring more technology innovation to the supply chain industry, today announced the launch of its APAC headquarters. Based in Singapore, ZEBOX Asia will also look at markets such as Indonesia, Malaysia, Taiwan, Japan and Korea.
The APAC hub is supported by Enterprise Singapore, a council under the Ministry of Trade and Industry to promote SME development, and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore, along with industry partners Bureau Veritas Marine and Offshore, PSA unboXed and Synergy Navy Group.
Founded in 2018 by CMA CGM Group Chairman and CEO Rodolphe Saadé, ZEBOX already has hubs in France, the United States, the United Kingdom, West Africa and the Caribbean, having partnered with 100 startups raising a total of $235 million financing. It has 20 corporate partners that startups work with while in the ZEBOX incubator, including BNP Paribas, CEVA Logistics, Infosys, BNSG Railway, Port of Virginia and Centrime.
Gwen Salley, CEO of ZEBOX, told ukbusinessupdates.com that in addition to access to mentoring, experts, business opportunities and funding, the incubator program offers startups opportunities to test their solutions and collaborate with major companies. For business partners, the benefit is to work with startups that can address their specific business challenges and run risk-free proof of concepts.
The incubator network chose Singapore as its newest hub because it is home to more than 4,000 regional headquarters and startups and has pro-business policies, an efficient regulatory framework, transparent legal and financial systems and strong digital infrastructure, Salley said. “In addition, the city-state’s strategic location at the crossroads of major shipping lines and air routes connects large parts of Asia to the rest of the world, making it a global logistics hub,” he added.
Some examples of startups incubated by ZEBOX include Sea routesthat uses routing engines and predictive data to show shippers how much carbon emissions they are producing at key points in the procurement chain and Sublime energy, a deep tech startup focusing on biogas liquefaction technology and providing biogas collection services. Both participated in ZEBOX France.
Basic Blockwhich participated in ZEBOX America and iraised more than $78 million in finance, automates invoices and develops financial products for the freight industry. Expedok, also from ZEBOX America, has raised more than $20 million and automates freight documents, payment reconciliation and other manual paperwork. In the meantime, SMO solar processwhich participated in Zebox Caribbeans developed solar energy-based technology that converts carbon-based waste into other materials, such as hydrogen, biochar and carbon powder.
ZEBOX is looking for startups in four areas. One is operational efficiency, or technology that helps minimize the physical movement of goods in day-to-day operations. Another is decarbonisation and ZEBOX looks at alternative fuels, net zero energy, asset recovery, green infrastructure, emissions tracking and reporting, and sustainable storage and distribution. This is a particularly critical area for CMA CGM Group as the goal is to reach net zero carbon by 2050. The company says it has already reduced carbon emissions per container transported by 50% since 2008.
The third area of focus, workflow automation, looks for startups that streamline and eliminate back-office tasks so companies can get more work done in less time. Finally, the future of work will focus on startups that can innovate in training, workplace safety, employee engagement, talent acquisition, hybrid work environments, ESG and customer experience.
In a statement, Teo Eng Dih, CEO of the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore said: “Startups play a vital role in transforming the maritime industry by generating value through their innovative solutions. By working with partners, MPA hopes to anchor more marine tech startups in Singapore to develop, test and commercialize new products and services from Singapore to benefit the global marine community.”