ComfortDelGro’s $100m corporate VC fund invests in 3 startups

Photo: Bloomberg

Singapore-listed taxi operator ComfortDelGro on Tuesday announced that it has invested in three transport-related technology startups through its six-month-old, $100-million corporate venture capital fund ComfortDelGro Ventures.

The startups operate in the areas of on-demand bus technology, fleet management, and autonomous vehicle safety testing, which complement the company’s land transport business. Financial details of the investments, however, were not disclosed.

The company said it has invested in SWAT, a shared mobility technology company in Singapore that routes vehicles optimally to offer the highest utilisation rates and services levels.

It also invested in container trucking technology firm Haulio, a Singapore-based startup that uses technology to match trucking job demand with supply. It has over 75 per cent of Singapore’s haulers onboard, with over 2,000 trucks.

The third startup is Israel-based autonomous vehicle safety testing and compliance technology firm Foretellix. The company focuses on developing solutions to help autonomous vehicles comply with stringent measurable safety and compliance requirements.

“Even as we continue to look at ways to grow our existing businesses, we are pursuing strategic investments in new and emerging technology start-ups which bridge the gap between what is, and what could be,” said ComfortDelGro managing director and CEO Yang Ban Seng.

ComfortDelGro Ventures, which invested in the three startups, focuses on incubation and investments in mobility technologies and solutions that complement the company’s land transport business.

The global fund will be managed at an arms-length basis with its own set of decision-making, approval and funding processes, the taxi operator had said at the time of the fund’s launch in November 2018.

It added that the fund will focus on next-generation mobility companies that are seeking to raise their seed, Series A, or B funding.

SGX-listed ComfortDelGro has a total fleet size of over 43,000 buses, taxis and rental vehicles, with operations in China, UK, Ireland, Australia, Vietnam and Malaysia.

In April, ComfortDelGro announced it had acquired Australian bus service operator B&E Blanch Pty Ltd for A$28.3 million ($20.14 million).

“We are also exploring opportunities in new businesses which leverage on technology and artificial intelligence. No stone is left unturned,” ComfortDelGro chairman Lim Jit Poh said in November.