Blue Investments in Focus Ahead of COP15

    Stockholm (NordSIP) – An often overlooked aspect of environmental investments, the biodiversity of our planet’s oceans is gaining prominence, no doubt at least in part due to the upcoming Phase 2 of COP15 on Biodiversity.

    The ocean produces 50% of the oxygen we breathe and absorbs 93% of the excess heat produced by humans, a crucial part of the fight against climate change. Moreover, potential economic losses associated with seafood shortage and the rise of the sea level associated with climate change are estimated to be worth US$400 billion per year by 2050.

    Following our reporting on Alecta‘s investment in this theme via a Belize bond, another similar announcement is keeping this trend in the news. SWEN Capital Partners, a provider of unlisted sustainable investment solutions, announced it has raised a further €43 million from institutional investors globally for its Blue Ocean Fund in the course of its latest funding round.

    The Blue Ocean Fund

    The Blue Ocean Fund was launched at the World Conservation Congress in September 2021 and focuses on ocean impact investing, specifically companies that tackle pollution, over-fishing, and climate change. The fund followed the appointment of Christian Lim and Olivier Raybaud, co-founders of Blue Oceans Partners, to SWEN Capital Partners’ investment team and executive committee.

    The Fund will deploy €120 million across 20 to 25 innovative start-ups companies dedicated to issues such as sustainable aquaculture, ocean data, plant and cell-based seafood, alternatives to single-use plastic, renewable marine energies and decarbonization of maritime transport.

    The Blue Ocean Fund has been classified as Article 9 compliant under the EU Sustainable Finance Disclosure Regulation (SFDR) and the EU taxonomy criteria and is aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goal 14 – Life Below Water.

    According to SWEN, following this latest funding round, the fund now stands at €95 million, making it one of the leading global venture capital funds dedicated to ocean regeneration.

    “We believe ocean impact investing is on a path to becoming mainstream and we remain committed to playing our part in this evolution by providing an innovative platform to international institutional investors. Private capital has an essential role to play in driving both systemic impact and competitive market returns at scale,” Christian Lim, Managing Director of the SWEN Blue Ocean team argues.

    Norwegian Interest

    Ferd, one of the largest family office investment companies in Norway was one of the first investors in the fund. “We believe the SWEN Blue Ocean team is at the forefront of ocean impact investing because of their ambitious and rigorous impact methodology. In addition, they have demonstrated deep industry expertise, including in sustainable aquaculture which is a space we know well,” says Erik Bjørstad, Director Impact Investing at Ferd (Pictured).

    “We look forward to being an active investor, utilizing our large seafood industry network to support the SWEN Blue Ocean team,” Bjørstad adds.

    Erik Bjørstad, Director Impact Investing at Ferd
    ©Fotograf Sveinung Bråthen via FERD


    The New Investors

    BPI, the French Sovereign Investment Fund and Ifremer, the National Institute for Ocean Science, are among the latest investors to back the Blue Ocean strategy. They join a number of institutional investors including pension funds, insurance companies, banks and family offices across Europe and the US.

    “In order to make progress, a sustainable Blue Economy is critical. Healthy oceans will continue to provide us with food, oxygen, transportation, recreation and climate regulation. Our Blue Ocean fund is at the heart of this dynamic and contributes to addressing these crucial issues for the planet, a world first. We would also like to thank the fund’s investors for showing their confidence in us, as well as the new French and European investors who were convinced by the relevance of our approach, which combines unlisted and an ever-stronger commitment to sustainable finance,” comments  Jérôme Delmas, CEO of SWEN Capital Partners

    “Faced with the threats generated by human activity, Ifremer is convinced that research and innovation are key to ensuring the protection of the ocean. It is with this in mind that we wanted to strengthen our commitment by investing in the Blue Ocean fund. SWEN Capital Partners brings unique expertise to support European start-ups whose activity will have a positive impact on the health of the ocean,” concludes François Houllier, Chairman and CEO of Ifremer.

    Images courtesy of wanzi989813 via Pixabay and ©Fotograf Sveinung Bråthen via FERD
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe Albuquerque
    Filipe is an economist with 8 years of experience in macroeconomic and financial analysis for the Economist Intelligence Unit, the UN World Institute for Development Economic Research, the Stockholm School of Economics and the School of Oriental and African Studies. Filipe holds a MSc in European Political Economy from the LSE and a MSc in Economics from the University of London, where he currently is a PhD candidate.

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