Impact fund Ocean 14 Capital invests $12m in shrimp genetics and nutrition firm SyAqua

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/MesquitaFMS
© GettyImages/MesquitaFMS

Related tags: Ocean 14 Capital, European Investment Fund, shrimp, early nutrition, genetics

Debut investment aims to capture the opportunity around sustainable technologies for the global shrimp industry.

Ocean 14 Capital Fund, a private equity impact investment fund focused on the UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14): Life Below Water,​ has signed a deal to purchase a controlling stake, valued at US$12m, in SyAqua from Golden Springs Group (GSG).

SyAqua is engaged in genetics and early nutrition to the shrimp hatchery market, with a historical focus in Asia. The company has operations in the US, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia with relevant commercial presence in several shrimp producing countries worldwide.

Sustainability challenges 

An impact fund targeting €150m (US$157m) and focused on driving a sustainable and regenerative blue economy, Ocean 14 Capital said its debut investment capitalizes on the intensification and sustainability trends in the shrimp farming industry.

Despite significant progress in the recent past, the investors believe the industry is still overshadowed by inefficient resource use of unsustainable practices. “SyAqua‘s technologies in genetics and nutrition have a powerful impact on sustainable intensification of the shrimp industry by reducing waste per unit of production and the ensuing externalities,​” said George Duffield, founding partner and chair of impact, for the Fund’s investment adviser, Ocean 14 Capital Ltd.

Francisco Saraiva Gomes, founding partner and chief investment officer, Ocean 14 Capital Ltd, said: “SyAqua is in growth mode, quickly increasing its performance by leveraging its superior market presence and tech platforms. Over time we plan to build SyAqua into a platform for sustainable shrimp technologies and we hope that the Fund will invest significantly more than its initial commitment of US$12m.”

Ricardo Mello, chief executive officer, SyAqua, noted that the knowledge, access and ability to execute that the impact fund has will help the company to capture multiple growth opportunities. 

Fund participants 

The Ocean 14 Capital Fund, a collaborative effort between the founders of the Blue Marine Foundation, Gottex Fund Management and consultancy, Pontos Aqua, is targeting investments in growth-stage technologies and companies promoting sustainable fishing, aquaculture and alternative proteins as well as ocean conservation and health including marine flora and plastic waste solutions.

December 2021 saw it announce it had completed an €80m first close for the inaugural €150m impact fund. 

As cornerstone investors, the European Investment Fund (EIF), Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker, Builders Initiative and Minderoo Foundation collectively allocated €60m in the pot. 

Other high-profile investors committed the additional €20m in the fund, bringing the total to €80m. They included British businessman, Alex Beard, and Swedish entrepreneur, Niklas Zennström, who noted: “There has never been a more important time to invest in the oceans as a critical way to protect our planet and combat climate change.”

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