Wavecrest Growth Partners and Abry Partners have completed a growth investment in Pole Star Space Applications Limited, a provider of cloud-based compliance software solutions to the maritime sector. The capital will be used to accelerate hiring, scale sales, and expand product development to meet demand for its related trade & commodity finance, maritime surveillance, and ESG sustainability solutions and to accelerate innovation into disruptive AI, ML, and distributed ledger technologies.
“All components of the maritime sector are now entering a significant digitalisation phase, driven by: international regulations and programs, the interoperable collaborative trade processes being set by the principal major shipping lines and ports, the adoption of cybersecurity best practices, the impact of Covid-19 driving paperless trade, and the emergence of truly disruptive trade execution platforms,” said Julian Longson, CEO of Pole Star. “We are at a critical inflection point in the market and are excited to further our market leadership position. We are very pleased to partner with Wavecrest and Abry, who bring enterprise SaaS and go-to-market scaling expertise and look forward to accelerating several initiatives for current and future clients.”
Deepak Sindwani, managing partner at Wavecrest Growth Partners said, “We are focused growth investors in vertical software. The maritime industry is the critical conduit for $20 trillion of annual global trade, and it is an exciting time in the industry given the several opportunities for cloud software – compliance, surveillance, payments, and other areas. We believe Pole Star is incredibly well-positioned to capitalize on these trends and are excited to partner with them.”
“Pole Star has developed a tremendous reputation as an innovator in the maritime sector over the last 20 years,” said James Scola, principal at Abry Partners. “We are delighted to partner with the team to help Pole Star capitalize on the significant growth opportunities ahead by bringing greater transparency and digitization to the global trade market.”
As part of the transaction, Colin Doherty, ex-five-time software CEO and growth partner at Wavecrest Growth Partners and Oni Chukwu, who most recently was the Executive BOD chair and CEO of US-headquartered Aventri Software, will both join the Pole Star board of directors.
Pole Star was represented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. in the transaction.