Pole Star Space Applications Limited (“Pole Star”), the leading innovator in providing cloud-based compliance software solutions to the maritime sector, announced today that Wavecrest Growth Partners and Abry Partners have successfully completed a significant growth investment in the company. The capital will be used to accelerate hiring, scale sales, and expand product development to meet substantive and increasing 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. Pole Star was represented by Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, Inc. in the transaction.
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“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.”
Describing the investment, 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.
About Pole Star
Pole Star is recognised as a leading innovator and provider of vessel-centric, enterprise SaaS technologies that empower maritime insight and inform real-world decisions. The company provides services to over 1500 clients including shipping companies, government agencies & ports, banks & commodity trade finance firms, along with many other maritime services stakeholders. Since 1998, Pole Star has transformed the market with several disruptive services and become a recognised thought leader, providing solutions to mitigate growing threats to the supply chain, ports, ships, cargo, and crew within the maritime infrastructure along with its partners advancing new payment commitment and sustainable financing solutions. For more information, visit polestarglobal.com.
About Wavecrest Growth Partners
Wavecrest Growth Partners is a growth equity firm focused on investing in and partnering with leading B2B software and technology-enabled services companies. Wavecrest targets investments in high-growth companies with proven products and business models and brings to bear a differentiated combination of investing and operating experience and networks to help accelerate growth and profitability. Wavecrest’s team has over three decades of collective investing and operating experience in growth-stage B2B technology companies, including numerous successful outcomes. For more information, visit wavecrestgrowth.com.
About Abry Partners
Abry is one of the most experienced and successful sector-focused private equity investment firms in North America. Since its founding in 1989, the firm has completed over $82 billion of leveraged transactions and other private equity or preferred equity placements. Currently, the firm manages over $5.0 billion of capital across its active funds. For more information, visit abry.com.