Noray Seafood raises 16 million to expand land-based shrimp farm in Spain
Noray Seafood said on Friday, 11 February it has raised EUR 16 million (USD 19.2 million) to accelerate expansion plans at its indoor shrimp farm in Medina del Campo, Spain.
Noray Seafood has developed a microbial technology for farming whiteleg shrimp (Litopenaeus vannamei) in a land-based system, creating a controlled bacterial culture environment. Known as Gamba Natural until 2020, when the company rebranded, it now operates a fully vertically integrated production facility, including the first commercial shrimp hatchery in Europe, at its pilot plant in northwest Spain.
The fundraising was led by investment company Creadev, with SWEN Blue Ocean and Stellar Impact joining previous investors in the round.
“We are thrilled to be joining Noray Seafood and contributing to producing shrimps locally and sustainably in Europe,” Creadev Food Investment Associate Alexandre van der Wees said.
SWEN Capital Partners Managing Director Olivier Raybaud said he had been impressed by the quality of the Noray Seafood team and the company’s technology, which he said puts shrimp farming on track to sustainability.
Noray Seafood COO and CFO Lars Backer told SeafoodSource the new funds will be used to help ramp up production capability at the company’s fully integrated hatchery, growout, and packing facility in Medina del Campo.
“Increasing production will enable us to serve more supermarkets, [hotel, retail, and catering] markets, and direct consumers, who seek high-quality shrimps all year round that are locally produced and sustainable,” he said.
Backer joined the company a year ago from JP Morgan Investment Banking in London, and was charged with finding funds to facilitate the company’s expansion. He said he was pleased to receive support and commitment from European-headquartered impact investors with deep sector expertise.
Backer said Noray Seafood is the only indoor shrimp-farmer in the world with Aquaculture Stewardship Council certification. The farm’s growing process is free of antibiotics and chemicals, has zero water exchange, and is cheaper to run than conventional recirculating aquaculture systems, he said. The company’s “Climate-Smart system” strictly controls parameters such as oxygen, salinity, ammonia, bacteria, and floc level, produces a clean-tasting fresh shrimp that is processed and packed within an hour of harvest, according to Noray.
“It’s also important for us that we address the challenges of conventional shrimp farming, which can result in mangrove deforestation, bycatch, and lack of traceability,” he said. "We have been through a very exciting year here at Noray, and can't wait to get started with new challenges and continue our journey to serve Climate-Smart shrimp.”
Noray Seafood CEO Bjørn Aspheim said his company’s shrimp also have a superior shrimp – they were recently awarded three stars in the annual International Taste Institutes’ Superior Taste Awards.
“It has been a long and exciting journey in developing a system for indoor shrimp farming 300 kilometers from the coast. We are excited to continue growing and delivering shrimps across Europe,” Aspheim said.
Photo courtesy of Noray Seafood