CMA CGM scales up its presence in the French and international startup ecosystem


At an event held in Paris on April 12, 2023, attended by players in the French tech ecosystem, Rodolphe Saadé, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the CMA CGM Group, laid out fresh goals for ZEBOX, the international startup accelerator, which he set up in 2018 alongside 17 major partner groups.

In the firm belief that innovation is developing right around the globe to address local issues, ZEBOX has established accelerators in high-potential ecosystems to play a part in their transformation by supporting local entrepreneurs. ZEBOX is ramping up the support it provides to local ecosystems by opening two new hubs in:

  • Singapore: the sphere of influence of this fifth ZEBOX hub, located at the heart of an extremely fast-growing ecosystem, will extend across the Asia-Pacific, a region at the crossroads of major shipping and air routes. It provides a strategic gateway to the Asian market and beyond both for Singapore-based startups and for the entire ZEBOX community.
  • Manchester: as the number one ecosystem in Europe for tech startups, the United Kingdom is an ideal location for an innovation hub. The city of Manchester, with its five universities, attractive funding programs for entrepreneurs and a raft of sustainable development initiatives, boasts tremendous potential for the startup ecosystem.

Rodolphe Saadé also announced the launch of ZEBOX Ventures, a seed fund for French and international startups that aims to invest in around 50 startups every year. With an average deal size of €50,000 to €250,000, ZEBOX Ventures will cover a diverse range of sectors connected to ZEBOX’s main areas of focus – optimized shipping and logistics, mobility, decarbonization and the energy transition, process digitalization and AI, and the future of work.

ZEBOX and ZEBOX Ventures are joining CMA CGM’s Startup Hub to achieve seamless coordination of interactions between the Group and the startup ecosystem. Going forward, the Startup Hub will serve as a single point of entry encompassing startup acceleration and incubation with ZEBOX, investment in French and international startups with ZEBOX Ventures and digital innovation, too.

Leveraging its international network consisting of entrepreneurs, industry leaders and ecosystem experts, ZEBOX strives to connect up startups with major corporations, helping them to develop sustainable innovations that will transform industry, with a special focus on supply chains. The startups it supports benefit from programs tailor-made to meet entrepreneurs’ needs. It helps them with the entrepreneurial execution of their project, the acceleration of their expansion, with a major emphasis on international development, and fundraising via the community of investors that has grown up around ZEBOX.

The ZEBOX community, which was originally established during 2018 in Marseille, now counts 17 partners and over 130 startups. It has helped to raise more than $235m in funding and launched over 100 co-innovation processes between startups and corporate partners.

Source: CMA CGM