The Constitutional Reserve Fund of Monaco has allocated EUR 10 million (USD 9.8 million) to the Ocean 14 Capital EUR 150 million (USD 148 million) “blue economy” impact fund to back innovators and solutions working to improve ocean health.
Ocean 14 said that with this backing, its fund is on track to invest in eight companies this year, and to grow its portfolio to between 20 and 25 businesses within three years. So far this year, the fund has already made three investments.
Including the Principality of Monaco’s EUR 10 million commitment, the private equity firm has now raised EUR 100 million (USD 98 million) since launching its growth-stage impact fund in December 2021.
Ocean 14 Capital said it uses United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 14: Life Below Water as its guiding principle in its search for entrepreneurs and businesses with big ideas around aquaculture and alternative proteins, reducing plastic waste pollution, protecting ecosystems and marine flora, and ending overfishing.
“Philanthropy is doing a solid job, but institutions are realizing that we need to overhaul the capital market to really stand a chance of averting the climate crisis. That's why we launched Ocean 14 Capital – to bring in the necessary capital to transform the blue economy and make it sustainable and regenerative, so that we can protect and restore the oceans health and make sure this vital economy can prosper,” Ocean 14 Capital Founding Partner Chris Gorell Barnes said.
To promote ocean health and limit the effects of climate change H.S.H. Prince Albert II of Monaco has invested over EUR 90 million (USD 88 million) during the past 15 years to fund more than 700 projects.
Monaco Minister of Finance and Economy Jean Castellini said the country's investment will help Ocean 14 in its mission to fund blue economy initiatives with a benefit to the climate.
“I believe that this investment will enable Ocean 14 Capital to deliver the innovation needed to meet our climate and sustainability goals,” Castellini said. “The sustainable blue economy is now a key focus for us, and this is a rallying cry for start-up and scale-up marine innovators globally to come forward and help avert the crisis in our oceans and return them to a healthy thriving state.”
The Ocean 14 Capital Fund completed a EUR 80 million (USD 79 million) first close in December 2021, with backers including the European Investment Fund (EIF), Chr. Augustinus Fabrikker, Builders Vision, Minderoo Foundation, and British businessman Alex Beard and Swedish entrepreneur Niklas Zennström. Ocean 14 Capital has alreadyy invested in shrimp-breeding technology specialist SyAqua, plastic management platform Aion, and clam breeder Mito. The fund primarily focuses on investing in growth-stage businesses, with the aim that around two-thirds will go to companies based in Europe.
“We have the science, the network, the understanding of marine conservation; We’ve got experience of building multibillion-dollar asset-management businesses, And we’ve got industry know-how, in terms of investing in and executing within the industry. We’re at a pivotal point in finance, and I think it’s going to be as revolutionary as the technology shift we’ve had in the last 20 years,” Gorell Barnes said. “We’ll see how impact investing becomes totally transformational in terms of how capital is deployed. There will be a lot of new regulations coming in, driving institutional capital to invest in vehicles that are having a positive and measurable impact on the environment and society.”
Photo courtesy of George Duffield