Aqua-Spark feeding sustainable aquaculture movement with keystone investments

Alex Whitebrook/ November 9, 2017/ News/ 0 comments

Netherlands-based investment fund Aqua-Spark is feeding the growth of the sustainable aquaculture movement with an increasingly large and diverse portfolio of investments in the sector.

The fund was launched in December 2013 with the goal of investing in small- to medium- sized enterprises that produce fish, shellfish, and aquatic plants “in ways that create positive social and environmental impact.”

Aqua-Spark founders Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz believe their fund can be used both to better the world and to make money for their investors. The fund currently has USD 57.11 million (EUR 49.2 million) under management, and Velings and Novogratz have set the goal of increasing that to USD 1.74 billion (EUR 1.5 billion) by 2025.

Since 2015, the fund has made 15 investments in businesses including feed alternative producers Calysta and Protix, land-based Arctic charr producer Matorka, sea cucumber operation Indian Ocean Trepang, and ready-to-prepare seafood kit producer Love The Wild.

Last month, Aqua-Spark added two new investments to its growing stable of sustainable aquaculture-based businesses, Poland-based Proteon Pharmaceuticals, which is developing alternatives to antibiotics used in aquaculture, and U.S.-based fish-breeding technology firm Cryoocyte. Velings and Novogratz said both companies are a good fit with this ethos and that their investors are excited by their potential.

“Proteon and Cryoocyte, are cutting-edge technologies that help to make fish farming healthier and more efficient by eliminating antibiotics, reducing feed use, and enabling farms to safeguard their broodstock,” they said. “With these investments, we have entered new areas of the value-chain with solutions that span the entire lifecycle and lead the way for industry-wide improvements.”

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