The co-investment is set to revolutionize the international shipping industry by improving marine safety and introducing digitalized decarbonization and inventory management
Singapore—BCG Digital Ventures (BCGDV), the business-building and corporate innovation arm of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), today announced its previous investment in three ventures: SOL-X, Chord X, and Spares CNX.
BCGDV’s investment was made last year while the ventures were in stealth mode to allow for a deeper focus on business development activities such as staffing, product development, and target market acquisition.
With the objective of disrupting the shipping industry, BCGDV has also announced that the three maritime ventures are joining its broader portfolio of innovative businesses and products with the backing of BCGDV and leading international shipping company MISC Group.
These three separate start-ups differ in their approach, yet together they powerfully demonstrate the transformational power of strategically applying digital and deep tech like AI, ML, and IIoT to create massive operational efficiencies across the shipping value chain in a way that has never been done before.
The ventures will be key drivers for the smart ship, which leverages automation and assistive technologies to ensure safety, efficiency, and environmental sustainability.
“With 90% of the world’s goods transported by ships, and considering the fragmented attempts at innovation, we believe these investments are going to be absolutely transformative to the maritime industry, as well as to industries such as mining, energy, and industrial goods,” said Sid Shah, Managing Director & Partner and Global Leader of BCGDV’s Energy Practice. “We couldn’t be more excited to support these teams on their bold journeys.”
All three ventures are based in Singapore, a critical hub for BCGDV that was recently placed at the top of the IMD World Competitive Center’s ranking in digital competitiveness.
SOL-X is redefining maritime safety by creating an industry-first Safety 4.0 company centered on human factors. Combining deep industry knowledge with IIoT and predictive AI, SOL-X focuses on improving safety and compliance outcomes, increasing operational productivity, and enhancing crew well-being. With 66% of maritime incidents caused by human error, SAFEVUE.ai, the company’s flagship solution, addresses the core of human factors by combining the Control of Work with crew well-being data to deliver near real-time safety intelligence on the edge. SOL-X recently signed a multiyear fleetwide agreement to partner with Eaglestar and meet the maritime industry’s ever-increasing demands for operational and safety excellence.
Chord X, a maritime data analytics company, is advancing ship management by utilizing sensors, data integration and analytics, machine learning, and human experts to achieve operational and emission efficiency in large maritime assets. Chord X provides predictive insights to customers, enabling them to take immediate corrective actions on their maritime assets’ equipment and keeping their performance at its optimal best.
Chord X measures and analyzes the emission footprint of maritime assets. It also provides an emission module that supports regulatory reporting compliance, enabling increased oversight over carbon tax with greater accuracy than current methods, and it is working toward providing insights for maritime asset operators to use and control in weighing operational decisions that impact the emission footprint of their maritime assets. Chord X achieves reduced asset operating expenditures, enhanced asset reliability, and cleaner combustion for maritime asset owners and operators.
Spares CNX is reinventing the shipping supply chain by providing an automated inventory management solution that can track the life cycle of spare parts on shore and across the fleet. An integrated hardware and software solution, PROPELLER Ship, uses RFID, QR, and other imaging technologies to monitor the location and consumption of spares. Onboard vessel engineers follow the intuitive workflows that are built into the portable tablet as they perform their day-to-day operations. The device interacts with the pretagged spare parts, ensuring that accurate and complete information is captured at the time and place of work while data flows seamlessly to the existing PMS or ERP systems.
The accompanying AI-driven analytics platform, PROPELLER Shore, empowers managers and procurement officers with actionable insights and recommendations for stock level optimization, rebalancing, and forward bulk procurement opportunities.
With this unique approach, Spares CNX addresses an inventory inaccuracy problem that costs the global shipping industry up to $2 billion annually in spend leakage on spare parts, with massive second-order implications on day-to-day operations. In addition to the rich feature set in the market today, Spares CNX is building capabilities to address frictions around FIFO, consumable goods, onshore warehouse partner integrations, and many other areas.
"We are proud to invest in these three digital start-ups, which in many ways allow us to explore available opportunities to harness the power of digitalization in the maritime industry. The challenges faced by the shipping industry brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic have forced us to rethink our approaches and operational practices,” said Mr. Yee Yang Chien, President/Group CEO of MISC. “I believe that in order for us to move forward, we must be bold in exploring the endless opportunities to further improve operational excellence in various areas including safety and process efficiency. I am confident about the prospects that the three digital ventures offer and that this partnership will enhance our contribution toward the sustainability of MISC Group’s environmental, social, and governance agenda.”
Additional information about the co-investment by BCG Digital Ventures and MISC in Sol-X, Chord X and Spares CNX, can be found here.
About BCG Digital Ventures
BCG Digital Ventures is a corporate innovation, incubation, and investment firm. We invent, launch, scale, and invest in industry-changing new businesses with the world’s most influential companies. Our diverse, multidisciplinary team of entrepreneurs, operators, and investors works cross-functionally, rapidly moving from paper to product to business in less than 12 months. Founded in 2014 as a subsidiary of Boston Consulting Group, we have Innovation Centers and satellite locations in four continents and continue to expand our footprint across the globe.
MISC Berhad (MISC) was incorporated in 1968 and is a world-leading provider of international energy-related maritime solutions and services. The principal businesses of the Group comprise energy shipping and its related activities, owning and operating offshore floating solutions, marine repair and conversion, engineering and construction works, integrated marine services, port and terminal services, and maritime education and training.
As of 31 December 2020, MISC Group’s fleet consists of more than 100 owned and in-chartered vessels comprising Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG), Petroleum, and Product vessels, Very Large Ethane Carriers (VLECs), 14 Floating Production Systems (FPS), and two (2) LNG Floating Storage Units (FSUs). The fleet has a combined deadweight tonnage (dwt) capacity of more than 11 million tonnes.
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