By Nancy Dahlberg
Logistics-tech just got even more interesting here in South Florida. How does a new corporate venture capital fund targeted at startups developing technologies in the logistics and transportation industries sound?
Ryder System, the Miami-based logistics and transportation giant, has launched RyderVentures, which is targeting $50 million in investments over the next five years. RyderVentures is looking to invest in startups tackling disruptions in the supply chain, driven by accelerating demand for e-commerce fulfillment, asset sharing, next-generation vehicles, automation and data analytics, Ryder said.
“With RyderVentures, our goal is to identify earlier in the process those new technologies that address our customers’ pain points and work alongside the startups developing them to speed the solutions to market. We’re looking for innovative technologies from start-ups with strong growth potential but need the expertise of an industry leader with the depth and breadth of experience that comes with nearly 90 years in logistics,” said Karen Jones, Ryder’s chief marketing officer and executive vice president of new product innovation, in its news release.
The publicly traded Ryder, with more than 50,000 enterprise customers across 20 industries and a longtime staple of Miami’s economy, can help startups pilot their products in real use cases, speeding them to market, as well as providing them with connections for scaling. Ryder also created its own startup COOP by Ryder, a peer-to-peer commercial truck sharing platform, and has partnered with several technology startups to develop RyderShare, a real-time visibility and collaboration platform for supply chain. Ryder has also collaborated with venture capital funds in the logistics and transportation space, such as Autotech Ventures, an early stage venture capital firm focused on innovation in ground transportation.
Plug and Play, the global innovation platform that brings together startups and large corporations, has been working with Ryder since 2017 to accelerate the development of some of the greatest emerging technologies, said Plug and Play’s VP Farzin Shadpour. “They’ve been an invaluable partner. With their decades of expertise and engaged executive mentorship, Ryder knows how to help startups maximize potential.”
RyderVentures joins a growing number of industry-specific funds in South Florida, including Watsco Ventures, propelling innovation in the HVAC industry, and LAB Ventures Proptech Fund, aimed at real estate.
Photo at top: Ryder's Future of Logistics exhibit at the 2020 CES convention in Las Vegas.
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