5/6/2019 – Transport giant ComfortDelGro Corp is looking for opportunities beyond its core passenger transport business, and has made investments in three tech startups from the areas of on-demand bus technology, fleet management, and autonomous vehicle safety testing.
The early stage investments are the first to be made out of its US$100 million corporate venture capital fund ComfortDelGro Ventures, which was set up in November 2018.
The size of the investments were not disclosed.
The first investment was made in Swat, a shared mobility technology company from Singapore that is part of the Goldbell engineering and transport group.
The startup has forged a partnership with ComfortDelGro to extend this shared mobility technology to other bus and taxi service fleets in Singapore and overseas.
“The first on-demand bus service overseas has already been launched in northwest Sydney in New South Wales, Australia, through ComfortDelGro’s wholly-owned subsidiary ComfortDelGro Corp Australia,”
The second investment is in Haulio, a logistics tech startup incubated by PSA International’s corporate venture capital arm, PSA unboXed.
The Singapore-based company offers a container trucking technology that
matches trucking-job demand with supply. This helps trucking companies save time and resources while improving the visibility and reliability for end-customers.
The platform has over 75 percent of Singapore’s hauliers on-board with an outreach of over 2,000 trucks to date, ComfortDelGro said.
“Given the similarities in vehicle fleet operations between container and passenger transportation, the synergies that Haulio bring fits into ComfortDelGro’s intention to expand beyond passenger transport,” ComfortDelGro, which operates buses, trains and taxis, added.
The third investment is in an Israel-based autonomous vehicle safety testing and compliance technology company called Foretellix.
Founded by veterans from the semiconductor testing industry, it is focused on developing solutions to bridge the gap between current vehicle testing standards and “the eventual stringent measurable safety and compliance requirements that autonomous vehicles will need to fulfill for full commercialization”.
The group said the investment is being held by ComfortDelGro’s testing services unit VICOM, which is working closely with Foretellix to explore the feasibility of introducing such a service in Singapore and other Asian markets.
ComfortDelGro chief executive Yang Ban Seng said, “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.”
Other technology start-up investments being assessed include opportunities that impact ComfortDelGro’s core businesses, including vehicle electrification, autonomous vehicle fleet management systems, as well as adjacent disciplines such as smart logistics, artificial intelligence, cyber security and robotics.
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ComfortDelGro has recently forged a strategic partnership with Singtel to enable an in-app taxi booking feature within its Dash app, which will be made available by the end of 2019.
This news is published on Reuters.