Exactly one year ago, on August 5, 2021, the logistics service provider, DB Schenker, launched a venture capital and startup division, “Schenker Ventures”, a new approach uncommon to the logistics industry with an innovative combination of investing as well as building up own ventures. Logistics Matters looks at the successes, learnings, and unpacking of whether logistics is the right industry for venture capital after just one year in business.
In April 2022, only a couple of months after the launch, Schenker Ventures announced its first investment into Warehousing1, an e-commerce fulfillment platform provider based in Berlin, Germany. Not only an investment but also a mutual learning opportunity in a very important growth market: e-commerce. Additionally, Schenker Ventures, supported by the extensive DB Schenker network and expertise, is able to create a competitive advantage for its portfolio companies.
A few months later, Schenker Ventures took on its second investment, Laserhub, a digital platform for metal spare parts supply, focusing on offer, order and transportation with lean processes and a huge network of producers in the background.
Still, Schenker Ventures is not only about early-stage investments but also about bringing own ventures to the market. With Venture Studio they’ve created an environment perfectly shaped to collaborate with founders, who retain ownership and complete control and, at the same time, can rely on and profit from Schenker Ventures and DB Schenker. For example, connections to the investor network, the global logistics network or contacts to experts and customers. A new and highly innovative approach and a huge boost to every idea and business.
Last and not at all least, initiatives at Schenker Ventures do not only concentrate on external sources but also on internal and all the 76,000+ DB Schenker employees with for example internal innovation sprints to develop new venture ideas or initiatives to boost entrepreneur thinking.
When it comes to venture capital, the current summertime is usually not a period with a very high deal flow. Nevertheless, Schenker Ventures has already revealed two more projects currently in the pipeline. Still confidential, but with a little teaser, we’ve learned that they are both digital platforms – one to analyze and optimize supply chains regarding emissions and the other for financial services for fleets.
In parallel, Schenker Ventures is working on further streamlining processes to continuously increase efficiency to meet their ambitious overall goal for 2025: a portfolio of 15-20 startups in various growth markets within the logistics industry.
Published: August 2022