AquaFounders Capital pivots from VC strategy to developing two land-based aquaculture projects
AquaFounders Capital, founded by former Kingfish Company CEO Ohad Maiman and former Atlantic Sapphire CTO Thue Holm, is changing its funding and development strategy and plans to develop a new recirculating aquaculture system solution and a high-value species farming operation in Europe.
The Amsterdam, the Netherlands-based company was formed earlier this year as an investment company, with the goal of investing in multiple farming, software, and hardware solutions for land-based aquaculture. But based on several factors, the firm is pivoting to focus on two objectives: developing a lower capex faster deployment farming system, and forming a new farming operation likely to be built in the Netherlands.
“In many ways, the goal hasn’t change, because we always thought we would eventually create these two companies, but we realized we would need do it almost bottom-up instead of top-down,” Maiman told SeafoodSource. “What we found out there is that one, it would stretch us quite thin if we had to sit on the boards of 20-plus companies that we had a minority stake in. That would miss the purpose in some ways. It would take up a lot of our time it will not give us the capacity we need to guide the development of these companies and to eventually consolidate them.”
Holm acknowledged both men are still consumed by an entrepreneurial spirit that is pushing them to lead on projects, rather than simply advise.
“It's just more natural for us to develop a farm from the ground up rather than to come in late with a small piece and take a bit of a backseat there,” he said.
Holm and Maiman met with the project leaders for more than 50 startups looking for funding, but eventually determined they already had an idea of their own they wanted to pursue – a concept they’ve dubbed a “farm in a box.”
“We did meet a few companies that have ...
Photo courtesy of AquaFounders Capital