S2G Ventures announces five seafood-industry investments
The oceans and seafood investment team of sustainability-oriented food and agriculture investment firm S2G Ventures has announced its initial five investments.
S2G officially launched its “seafood innovation strategy” in August 2020 with USD 100 million (EUR 84.7 million) in capital backing. The group – backed in part by Lukas Walton, the grandson of Walmart founder Sam Walton – wants to target its investment to companies and projects that will move the industry forward in its thinking both in how it uses technology, and in how it approaches sustainability issues, the two managing directors of S2G’s oceans and seafood fund told SeafoodSource in a September 2020 interview.
In a 21 June announcement, S2G said it had invested in five companies, leading investment rounds for four of them with other strategic and financial partners, and has taken active board seats with three of the companies. The funded companies are ReelData, ViAqua Theraputics, Moleaer, and two unnamed companies, one involved in ocean surveillance and one developing fishmeal and fish oil technology.
"The entrepreneurs that we have invested behind are doing incredible work in making our oceans and water ecosystems more resilient and sustainable," S2G Ventures Managing Director Kate Danaher said. "Sustainably managed and healthy ecosystems are a pillar of global environmental recovery, a driver of economic growth, and a foundation for food security and human health."
Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada-based ReelData was founded in 2018 with the goal of providing software solutions to increase the profitability, sustainability, and scalability of land-based aquaculture. Its SAAS products include artificial intelligence-informed feeding systems, biomass estimation, and health and stress analytics.
“S2G has confidence in the ReelData team to help land-based aquaculture producers better manage risk and optimize their operations for profitability,” S2G said.
Haifa, Israel-based biotechnology company ViAqua Therapeutics has developed an orally administered particle-based platform for the delivery of RNA and protein to improve resistance against diseases. S2G joined Thai Union in announcing their investment in ViAqua earlier this month.
“S2G believes the ViAqua team has the potential to apply its technology across all aquaculture species and platforms where cost-effective RNA production and novel delivery systems (such as nano and micro encapsulation) are needed.
Molear, founded in 2016 by Warren Russel and Bruce Scholten and headquartered in Carson, California, U.S.A, develops industrial-scale nanobubble production technology to provide chemical-free water treatment and the recovery of natural resources. The company’s work in aquaculture is focused on restoring water bodies by eliminating harmful algae and pathogens, improving fish health and production, and increasing recoveries of natural resources.
S2G also said it invested in a company developing technology to track dark vessels “which will provide invaluable data to combat illegal maritime activities and improve the efficiency and safety of shipping and travel across the globe,” and a fishmeal and oil technology company that “converts low-value resources into high-end products in a sustainable and cost-efficient manner.”
“S2G sees the potential to expand this technology to maximize the value of global protein production in existing fisheries, combat invasive aquatic species, and reduce pressure on overfished wild stocks,” it said.
S2G Ventures Managing Director Larsen Mettler said now is an inflection point for technological innovation.
"We are at an inflection point where it's possible to harness technological innovations and reimagine the industry in a way that is beneficial for the planet, consumers, investors and the economy," Mettler said. "We see huge potential in this sector and look forward to long-term collaboration with entrepreneurs, strategic partners, and other investors who are excited about this market opportunity."
Photo courtesy of S2G Ventures