Flagship Founders

Press Release

Maritime venture builders Flagship Founders and Signal enter strategic partnership

July 25, 2023 – Two of the leading maritime technology venture builders have today announced a partnership to jointly develop new technology start-ups for the industry. Signal is taking a stake in the German venture studio Flagship Founders and will contribute data and APIs from its Signal Ocean platform to help accelerate new venture development. The partnership includes a total investment volume of €2.5 million and complements the €3.5 million funding round Flagship Founders closed earlier this year.

Signal is an Athens, London & Singapore based business which runs commercial tanker pools, has developed a leading AI software platform, and provides investment to early-stage ventures. Its venture building and investment arm Signal Ventures has to date supported 15 start-ups in the shipping, supply chain and commodities space. AI analytics firm OilX, Signal’s first start-up incubated through its venture studio, was sold to Energy Aspects in January this year.  

Berlin-based Flagship Founders, in turn, is a leading European venture studio focusing on maritime technologies, logistics, and shipping. Flagship Founders has already produced four successful start-ups since it was founded three years ago. Most recently, Flagship Founders venture zero44 announced a financing round with participation from Atlantic Labs, among others.

“We are very excited about the partnership. Flagship Founders and Signal share the same view of the maritime economy and the success factors for building technology startups,” explains Fabian Feldhaus, Co-Founder and Managing Director of Flagship Founders. “We also complement each other perfectly: Signal are one of the most innovative maritime technology players and cover the whole spectrum from commercial and operational to VC investment and corporate venture building. Whereas we bring a startup background, have proven our skills in building scalable business models with clear customer benefits, and are very well-connected in Germany. In combination, this results in a big win for both sides.”

By bringing their respective strengths into this strategic partnership, Signal and Flagship Founders will build new technology start-ups for global shipping more quickly and efficiently. Signal Ocean’s comprehensive data platform will play an important role in the development and scaling of ideas. The companies also expect the partnership to provide mutual support in the areas of regional network access, sector-specific expertise, and talent acquisition.

Nikolas Pyrgiotis, VP of Ventures at Signal, is also convinced of the mutual benefit of the partnership: “The maritime ecosystem is global, but startup ecosystems are mostly local and tend to operate in silos. Coalitions like this are important to gain access to new investment opportunities and complement expertise and network reach. We believe that the shipping and technology depth of Signal coupled with data from The Signal Ocean Platform will accelerate the development of Flagship Founders’ ventures and together we will advance venture building for maritime technology start-ups worldwide.”

About Signal

Signal’s vision is to make global shipping more efficient, effective and profitable through the application of technology and market experience. Our passion for applied science and technology and our understanding of the complex shipping business continues to open up new opportunities.

We achieve success through collaboration, research and investment. In just a few years we have built a huge maritime tech ecosystem by combining cutting-edge data science with deep shipping market experience. The engine which drives our Signal Ocean Platform applies artificial intelligence and algorithms to clients’ unstructured data. It provides them with a customised and personalised view of the tanker, dry bulk and container markets. We help shipbrokers, owners and charterers achieve extraordinary performance by taking care of the mundane and computationally complex.

This data-led approach powers our commercial tanker pools, Signal Maritime, enabling our chartering team to outperform its peers. At the same time, we are investing in the future by supporting early-stage technology startups and entrepreneurs in the shipping, logistics and commodities space through Signal Ventures. Our diverse and fast-growing team of product engineers, computer scientists, and commercial shipping professionals is based in Athens, London and Singapore.


About Flagship Founders

Flagship Founders is the founding partner for startups in maritime technology, logistics, and shipping. Launched in May 2020, the Berlin-based company works with ambitious founders to build scalable businesses with digital product solutions. The aim is to introduce pioneering technologies and innovation to shipping and help shape the industry’s future. To deliver successful results Flagship Founders provides ongoing support, from a successful creative process through company founding and financing right up to an exit. In addition to a wealth of expertise in the startup and company building sector, the Flagship Founders team has access to a first-class network and specialist shipping knowledge. Find out more at www.flagshipfounders.de


Darja Koehne
+49 (0)176 311 48 514


Bill Lines
+44 (0)7970 730521