The heavy lift and multipurpose shipping sector faces its own set of unique challenges when it comes to attracting finance for both tonnage and operations.
With traditional debt financing increasingly difficult to secure as banks distance themselves from the sector, it is not surprising that other financing models are once again coming to the fore.
One such model has been put forward by Netherlands-based Shipping Company Groningen. It has launched ShipFund – a blockchain-supported mutual fund.
Shipping Company Groningen provides full-service ship management to a worldwide fleet of around 40 ships. Through ShipFund, individuals are able to invest in the company’s fleet by purchasing bond tokens called ‘ships’.
Blockchain technology is used for registration, information storage and payments. The tokens, which are valued at EUR50 (USD55.8) each, have a two-year duration and pay an interest rate of 4.25 percent annually. The minimum investment is EUR250 (USD278.4) and no transaction charges are applied.
HLPFI would be keen to learn our readers’ thoughts on the challenges of raising capital in today’s highly challenging multipurpose shipping market. And, given the calamitous outcome of the overblown KG system, whether mutual funds are the appropriate investment vehicle for the sector.