Sustainable Ocean Fund Eyes €200 Million by the End of 2023

The Ocean 14 Capital Fund, which is working to clean up and revitalise the world’s oceans, has received a €20 million investment from institutional corporate investor, Convex Group Limited (Convex), taking it past its €150 million funding goal. The Luxembourg-based fund, which also received €10 million from family offices and HNWs, now aims to reach €200 million by the end of 2023.

The investment from Convex means that the Ocean 14 Capital Fund has now raised €160 million from investors including Monaco’s sovereign wealth fund, European Investment Fund (EIF), and Niklas Zennström, the founder of Skype, and €30 million from the Ingka Group, the family office of the global retailer IKEA.

Chris Gorell Barnes, co-founder of Ocean 14 Capital, believes the Fund is well on track to grow its portfolio to between 20 and 25 businesses within three years, having invested in five companies to date.

Among its activities in Asia, last year Ocean 14 Capital invested US$12m in Singapore-based shrimp genetics and nutrition firm SyAqua.

Most recently, the Ocean 14 Capital Fund has signed an investment of up to €10 million in Ava Ocean, a Norwegian technology and seafood company that is on a mission to change the way seafood is harvested from the seabed, whilst protecting fragile ocean habitats and invaluable carbon sinks.

Dredging is the most widely used method to harvest bottom-dwelling seafood globally, but this way of fishing takes a significant toll on the seabed and surrounding ecosystems and is increasingly facing criticism from environmental campaigners and ocean conservationists.

In Norway, dredging has been banned for nearly 30 years, preserving ocean habitats, but leaving vast nutritious resources out of reach.

Ava Ocean has developed a unique, non-invasive harvesting gear for bottom-dwelling seafood such as scallops and sea cucumbers without disturbing marine ecosystems. The technology combines an advanced water-flow system with AI and camera technology to precision-pick target seafood. Smaller-sized specimens or bycatch are returned to the seabed undamaged.

With the injection of capital from the Ocean14 Capital Fund, Ava Ocean will embark on an ambitious international growth plan, accelerating its mission to lead a global shift towards more sustainable fisheries of bottom-dwelling seafood.

Gorell Barnes commented: “The fact that the Fund has surpassed its initial goal of €150 million shows how important this issue has become to so many people globally and how highly the Fund is thought of.”

“We believe that the Fund’s strategic investment in Ava Ocean is significant. The global export market for scallops is worth an estimated $2.5 billion, but most of the scallop fishing industry uses dredging methods which have a devastating effect on seabed ecosystems and biodiversity. The technology developed by Ava Ocean can be rolled out on a global scale and could put an end to harmful seabed practices forever.”

“Over the next few years, the Fund aims to invest in many more companies that are all playing a part in saving the oceans. We want the blue economy to become mainstream as ocean health has a direct positive impact on consumers and commerce globally. The Fund is now aiming for investment of €200 million and as its advisers, we are confident that target will be met in the coming months”.