Temasek-backed Reefknot eyes logistics-disrupting startups

Reefknot Investments managing director Marc Dragon speaks at the Indonesia PE-VC Summit 2020 in Jakarta on January 15, 2020. Photo: DealStreetAsia

Consumer-focused deliveries have seen a revolution over the past few years, but change is coming more slowly to business-to-business logistics.

That’s the area Reefknot Investments is targeting with its $50 million fund, which was closed during the first quarter of last year. Reefknot is a Singapore-based 50:50 joint venture between state-owned investment firm Temasek Holdings and transport and logistics firm Kuehne + Nagel.

The fund is focusing on Series A and B investments in startups with transformative technology for supply chains and logistics.

“We bucket it into three different areas: AI and deep tech, logistics and digitization, and trade finance,” said Marc Dragon, managing director at Reefknot Investments. “Some business model elements are also considered. It might not be a core AI company; it might be a startup that’s looking to disintermediate a certain part of the industry, but it might use some AI to support its business model.”

So far, Reefknot has clocked one investment, in Prowler.io, a UK-based artificial intelligence company targeting improved forecasting for the sector, including truck scheduling and pallet collection. “Their core is AI and deep tech around probabilistic modelling and reinforcement learning,” said Dragon.

The firm is currently talking to a slew of startups. “We are particularly looking at those with differentiated technology, especially if it’s scalable, preferably across a region or a certain type of market, or globally,” said Dragon.

Edited excerpts of an interview:

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Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.