Our disruptive innovation fund, in partnership with Newtown Partners, made available an initial capital investment of USD20 million to provide a mechanism to invest in innovative developments. We refined our investment principles and focus areas to fund high-potential start-ups in freight logistics, supply chain management and healthtech that use emerging technologies and disruptive business models to drive value.

Investing in innovative technology, relevant to our business and aligned to our strategy will allow us to mitigate the risk of disruption, positioning the group at the forefront of innovation and allowing us to capitalise on the ongoing evolution of technology.

During the first 18 months, we concluded our first four investments in a digital distributor, digital freight forwarder, a point-of-care diagnostics enabler and a digital freight exchange.

Each of these minority investments have a time-to-value of five to seven years and were selected on the basis that they exhibit capabilities that may become strategically relevant to Imperial at that time and at commercial scale.

These startups are positioned to grow rapidly in their home markets before leveraging their disruptive competitive advantage to enter new geographical markets and service areas, reorganising value chains, addressing new customer segments more effectively than before and displacing incumbents in the process.

  • Field Intelligence is a technology enabled pharmaceutical distributor for community pharmacies in Nigeria and Kenya. Field Intelligence enables disruptive new sources of customer value by proactively managing stock levels and expiry, as well as working capital finance, with more opportunities to address more of the value chain as it scales.
  • Shypple is a digital freight forwarder - based in the Netherlands - that currently serves predominantly the port of Rotterdam and Schiphol airport. Price and supply chain transparency, as well as certainty of supply and demand are disruptive drivers of future value in air and ocean freight forwarding and key to Shypple's value proposition.
  • RedBird supplies proven rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) and related hardware to pharmacies in Ghana. RDTs disrupt traditional healthcare diagnosis because they are effective in low resource, point-of-care environments and require little training. RedBird augments this capability with flexible financing and patient healthcare monitoring software.
  • Lori Systems is a digital freight exchange that uses an innovative technology platform to provide long-haul transport solutions for cargo owners, seamlessly co-ordinating with multiple available transporters. The platform uses real-time information and optimisation to reduce inefficiencies and increase the utilisation of trucking assets, while lowering the cost of transporting goods.