Top 50 Rising Stars 2021 continued (in alphabetical order by CVC unit): Oliver Finch, partner, Maersk Growth
Oliver Finch is a partner at Maersk Growth, the corporate venturing unit of Denmark-headquartered shipping, transport and energy group AP Møller – Mærsk (also known as Maersk). He joined the unit in October 2018 as a principal, almost two years after the unit was formed.
“Maersk has a very clear vision of how to create a two-way street of value, and how to unlock the best of VC-backed companies and best of corporate,” Finch said.
“I am a big believer of ‘operator’ and ‘conviction’ VC models – taking specific, concentrated risks, knowing ‘your place’ and working hard to maximise potential with founders. Within global transport and logistics, the Maersk brand, footprint and customer relationships are meaningful.”
Maersk Growth focuses on areas including smart logistics, enabled trade and sustainable supply chain. Its portfolio companies include logistics technology developer Forto and e-commerce fulfilment service Huboo.
Most recently, Maersk Growth contributed to funding rounds for freight services portal Loadsmart and food distribution software developer Afresh Technologies in November 2020, and cloud and fabless semiconductor company Wiliot nine months earlier.
“It has been a pleasure to be a part of some great early portfolio success stories – driving further investment rounds and exploring value creation projects in companies like Loadsmart and from our UK investments, ZigZag and Huboo,” Finch added.
“These firms have all either driven meaningful commercial growth and raised significant further investment to maximise the opportunity at hand. Moving from ideas to structured projects and launching new co-created products and services between Maersk and our investee companies is hugely rewarding.”
Before Maersk Growth, Finch had been an investment manager for six years and a half from 2012 at the Cass Entrepreneurship Fund, a UK-based venture capital vehicle affiliated with Cass Business School (now called The Business School). There, he conducted early-stage deals for growth businesses across multiple sectors based in the United Kingdom. In addition, he helped launch a third investment vehicle in January 2016, with a focus on growth equity investments of between £250k and £1m following the successful deployment of the previous funds.