Listen to the full discussion here:
Marc Dragon is the Managing Director of Reefknot Investments. Reefknot Investments is a joint partnership between Temasek, Singapore’s state-owned fund, and the global logistics company Kuehne + Nagel. The firm is based in Singapore but will look for companies around the world that are raising their Series A or B rounds. With a focus on high growth technology companies pushing new frontiers within the supply chain and logistics space.
Marc has more than 20 years in the ICT & Management Consulting industry in Asia, mostly focused in the areas of Analytics, IT (Strategy, Applications, Infrastructure) and Supply Chain solutions. He started his career in Deloitte and IBM for many years and then transitioned in several roles in venture capital, entrepreneurial setups and active involvement in the start-up community in ASEAN, including being an Advisor/Mentor to startups.
He took over Reefknot about 1 year ago with a vision to build a global ecosystem of high-value partners who will bring added support to help accelerate startups in tech logistics and supply chain.
Connect with the Guests:
Marc Dragon: Linkedin
Some of the highlights from the podcast:
- How Temasek and Kuehne + Nagel’s partnership started
- Three main focus areas: Artificial Intelligence, Digital Logistics, and Trade Finance.
- Why Marc invested in the AI startup, Prowler.io
- Reefknot’s ecosystem in five years
- The shortage of data scientists
- “Follow your passion and build your capabilities and ecosystem around your passion.”
- [01:31] What drove you in your career to switch from doing consulting to being very actively involved in VC and startup world?
- [04:26] I saw the impact early on of new business models and technologies and I really wanted to be a key player to help the transformation of the industry.
- [05:00] How did the partnership between Temasek and Kuehne + Nagel come about?
- [08:16] Why did you pick AI, Digital Logistics and Trade Finance as your focus areas?
- [10:18] These areas are needed to support new differentiated technologies and models and it allows us to be able to focus and yet evolved on a daily basis.
- [12:00] Our interests are more in the technologies that enable the business models rather than the business models by itself.
- [15:12] Trade finance is potentially an area that is right for revolutionary change with its relation to supply chain and logistics.
- [17:19] You invested in an AI startup called Prowler.io. Why did you choose this particular startup?
- [22:01] How do you decide which startup to invest?
- [25:34] Do you see certain mistakes that startups make? It can be the business models or the way they structured it.
- [26:43] There’s a need for startups and corporations as well to be very self-critical about the defense ability and the strength of their solution and proposition versus other incumbents and new competition.
- [28:32] How will Reefknot’s ecosystem look like in five years?
- [31:03] What would you say are some of the key factors when it comes to finding, attracting, and retaining top talent in a startup environment?
- [32:17] There’s a particular shortage in data scientists, specifically around the scientists that are familiar with the supply chain and logistics problems.
- [36:09] As startups grow, they need to be able to sense what the customers are asking for. What their vision is and what they want to build.
- [37:56] What would you say were some of the most successful or useful pieces of advice that you’ve gotten that have helped you the most?
- [40:01] Follow your passion and build your capabilities and ecosystem around your passion.
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