Former Chairman of Nordic Eye launches TradeWorks.VC in partnership with Oracle.VC
Niklas Holck, the former Chairman of Nordic Eye Venture Capital, has launched his own boutique VC firm, based in Singapore. Tradeworks.vc is an investment syndicate that aims to build an ecosystem of “Digital Trade Enablers”, with the purpose of driving trade and economic development through innovation in Logistics primarily, crossing into e-Commerce. Tradeworks.vc has raised $1.5m at launch and its first investments in two logistics technology scaleups based in Singapore and Chennai respectively, will soon be announced.
The anchor investor and venture partner is Guernsey-based OracleVC, led by Tom Whitby. The firm has a global focus, targeting early growth startups and scaleups at the Seed to Series A funding stage and is looking to invest $100k to $2m per deal.
Global economic development has exploded in the past 40 years as trade lifted billions out of poverty. The world’s poorest countries have the highest logistics costs and connecting the millions living in poverty to the rest of the world through trade is the best way to improve their lives and unleash the potential of those developing economies. Lack of innovation in logistics results in high costs, which stifles trade and limits economic and human development. Compared with e-commerce, logistics is significantly under-invested; it accounts for more than double the share of Gross World Product, but attracts less than half the VC investment. Logistics is still seen as a black box for many VCs, who currently focus on last-mile operators and digital freight forwarders.
Tradeworks.vc CEO Niklas Holck has over 15 years’ experience in the wider Logistics space, including 9 years with Maersk. As Chairman and later Partner at Nordic Eye Venture Capital, he led their first logistics technology investment in FreightBro, and realised that the best way to highlight this underserved sector was to launch his own agile, specialised firm in this space.
Niklas believes that an ecosystem of digital trade enablers can address the digital needs of the “long tail” of small and medium sized logistics businesses and drive logistics costs down, while improving performance. These digital enablers provide tech solutions to thousands of operators, rather than each operator building their own tech. This model is more scalable, and with greater scale comes more data, which can be used to increase product scope. These network synergies of scale and scope are the core of the Tradeworks.vc investment thesis, along with product-market fit. Niklas Holck, CEO at Tradeworks.vc commented: “There has never been a better time to invest in logistics technology. The sector is at the bottom of the digitalisation S-curve, with a long tail of small businesses ready to embark on their digital transformation journeys. The high labour, capital and energy intensity that characterises logistics industries, provides significant potential for improving productivity and efficiency, and generating attractive VC returns.” Tom Whitby, MD at Oracle VC commented: “Oracle VC is delighted to be invested with Tradeworks.vc from the start. Niklas has identified a Blue Ocean with huge potential that is currently underserved by venture capital. The trade and logistics ecosystem will benefit enormously from the upcoming industrial led economic recovery and Tradeworks.vc is well placed to take advantage.”