Flagship Founders & Signal enter strategic partnership

Press Release: Two of the leading maritime technology venture builders have today (25 July) announced a partnership to jointly develop new technology start-ups for the industry. Signal is taking a stake in the German venture studio Flagship Founders and will contribute data and APIs from its Signal Ocean platform to help accelerate new venture development. The partnership includes a total investment volume of €2.5 million and complements the €3.5 million funding round Flagship Founders closed earlier this year.


Signal is an Athens, London & Singapore based business which runs commercial tanker pools, has developed a leading AI software platform, and provides investment to early-stage ventures. Its venture building and investment arm Signal Ventures has to date supported 15 start-ups in the shipping, supply chain and commodities space. AI analytics firm OilX, Signal’s first start-up incubated through its venture studio, was sold to Energy Aspects in January this year. 


Berlin-based Flagship Founders, in turn, is a leading European venture studio focusing on maritime technologies, logistics, and shipping. Flagship Founders has already produced four successful start-ups since it was founded three years ago. Most recently, Flagship Founders venture zero44 announced a financing round with participation from Atlantic Labs, among others.


“We are very excited about the partnership. Flagship Founders and Signal share the same view of the maritime economy and the success factors for building technology startups,” explains Fabian Feldhaus, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Flagship Founders. “We also complement each other perfectly: Signal is one of the most innovative maritime technology players and cover the whole spectrum from commercial and operational to VC investment and corporate venture building. Whereas we bring a startup background, have proven our skills in building scalable business models with clear customer benefits, and are very well-connected in Germany. In combination, this results in a big win for both sides.”


By bringing their respective strengths into this strategic partnership, Signal and Flagship Founders will build new technology start-ups for global shipping more quickly and efficiently. Signal Ocean’s comprehensive data platform will play an important role in the development and scaling of ideas. The companies also expect the partnership to provide mutual support in the areas of regional network access, sector-specific expertise, and talent acquisition.


Nikolas Pyrgiotis, VP of Ventures at Signal, is also convinced of the mutual benefit of the partnership: “The maritime ecosystem is global, but startup ecosystems are mostly local and tend to operate in silos. Coalitions like this are important to gain access to new investment opportunities and complement expertise and network reach. We believe that the shipping and technology depth of Signal coupled with data from The Signal Ocean Platform will accelerate the development of Flagship Founders’ ventures and together we will advance venture building for maritime technology start-ups worldwide.”

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