Imperial partners with Newtown to launch $20 million corporate venture capital fund

By ANA Reporter Time of article published Mar 9, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG - Logistics company Imperial has partnered with Newtown Partners to launch a corporate venture capital fund focused on disruptive startups in the logistics industry, with an initial investment of $20 million.

“Imperial operates in an environment that is constantly exposed to disruptors and one where innovation is critical. Partnering with Newtown Partners on this innovation fund helps position us ahead of future competitors, enabling a strategic response to emerging technologies and business models,” Imperial chief executive Mohammed Akoojee said in a statement.

As an early-stage venture capital firm, Newtown Partners will support Imperial’s strategic investment in the key areas set to disrupt its business in the next five to 10 years. 

“This programme will contribute to the long-term success of the organisation by identifying and leveraging startups deploying emerging technologies and business models in key geographical and logistics service areas,” Newton co-founder Vinny Lingham said.

The fund is operationally separate from Imperial, ensuring portfolio startups are not hamstrung by corporate red tape, while still being able to unlock the benefits of having Imperial as an investor and market access provider.

"With this fund, we are embracing the disruption taking place in the market by safe-guarding the organisation against future risk. It is about leveraging innovation so that we - alongside our clients - can not only survive but thrive well into the future,” Akoojee said.

Imperial, which provides outsourced, integrated freight management, contract logistics and distributorships, is ranked among the top 30 global logistics providers. Listed on South Africa's JSE stock exchange, it employs over 27,000 people in 32 countries. 

Newtown Partners is an early-stage venture capital firm that actively invests in emerging, disruptive technology startup businesses and operates out of Cape Town and Silicon Valley in California.

- African News Agency (ANA) 

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