Two former AP Moller-Maersk bosses are ready to take their shipping technology investment venture to the next level.

Copenhagen-based Nine Realms was set up by the Danish owner’s former head of growth Sune Stilling at the end of 2020.

Sources told Bloomberg the company is now ready to close its first fund this month having reached half of its eventual cash target of $200m ($218m), thanks to backing from the world’s super-rich.

Managing partner Stilling has been joined at Nine Realms by Peter Hove Hildebrandt, formerly Maersk’s head of transformation until 2021.

The fund will focus on companies in Europe and North America to help solve shipping’s supply-chain issues.

Backing comes from major family offices, as well as institutional investors, the report said.

In previous roles, the Nine Realms team has already made investments in companies like Danish internet-of-things operation Onomondo, freight optimisation firm Nyshex, freight booker Mothership and freight platform Goodship, among others.

Stilling, 46, left Maersk following a four-year stint as founder and managing partner of venture capital arm Maersk Growth, for which he delivered a fourfold return on investment.

He was CEO of Egyptian Drilling for two years before that and had been managing director at Maersk’s logistics arm Damco and CEO of Maersk Contractors in Venezuela in his previous term at Maersk, which he joined in 1999.

Maersk Growth started investing in 2018 with at least €80m, Bloomberg reported.

Big rises in valuations

A 2019 investment in Forto, a Berlin-based logistics digitalisation start-up, saw its valuation almost double through to 2020.

And a bet on Loadsmart, an online marketplace for booking trucking services, paid off as the firm more than trebled its valuation to $1.3bn in the same year.

Nine Realms says on its website it wants to enhance cargo delivery times, cost efficiency and reliability while cutting carbon emissions. The firm has about a dozen staff.

The company has been contacted for further comment.