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ComfortDelGro venture fund invests in three transportation startups

Singapore-based passenger transport giant ComfortDelGro has invested in three startups in the areas of on-demand bus technology, fleet management and autonomous vehicle safety testing, the company announced on Tuesday, June 4.

The early-stage investments are the first to be made by ComfortDelGro Ventures, the $100 million corporate venture capital fund set up in November 2018.

The deals’ terms were not disclosed.

“We are pursuing strategic investments in new and emerging technology startups which bridge the gap between what is, and what could be,” ComfortDelGro group chief executive Yang Ban Seng said in a news release. “We are excited about the possibilities these new tie-ups may bring to the table in the area of smart urban mobility and transportation. We are building a new wing beyond the core passenger transport business.”

One of the startups is Haulio, a digital logistics enterprise that matches container trucking job demand with supply.

Haulio closed a pre-series A funding round at the end of May, with ComfortDelGro as a new investor.

“Given the similarities in vehicle fleet operations between container and passenger transportation, the synergies that Haulio brings fit into ComfortDelGro’s intention to expand beyond passenger transport,” ComfortDelGro, which operates buses, trains and taxis, said.

ComfortDelGro’s second investment is in Foretellix, an Israel-based autonomous vehicle safety testing startup. It invested in Foretellix’s $14 million Series A round that closed in January.

Foretellix tech bridges the gap between current vehicle-testing standards safety and compliance requirements that autonomous vehicles will need to meet as part of the commercialization process.

The third investment is in SWAT, a shared mobility route optimization company. SWAT is working with ComfortDelGro Group to extend its tech to bus and taxi service fleets in Singapore and overseas.

ComfortDelGrow is also exploring other startup investments, the company said. These include vehicle fleet electrification, automotive engineering technologies, autonomous vehicle fleet management systems, smart logistics, artificial intelligence, cybersecurity and robotics.

ComfortDelGro is also looking to incubate new mobility businesses and technologies.