ImpactAlpha, April 20 – Aqua-Spark was one of the earliest investors in the “blue economy,” focusing on an agrifood niche at a time when agrifood venture investing was only a $2 billion market (it’s about $30 billion today). The Dutch impact investment firm has since invested nearly $500 million in startups supporting sustainable fishing and seafood.
Its latest deal: Tepbac, a tech startup helping shrimp farmers in Vietnam monitor and manage their farms. Vietnam is one of the largest shrimp producers in the world. Tepbac’s two core technologies are a device that monitors water conditions and an app that helps farmers automate tasks.
Venture firms AgFunder and Son Tech Investment backed the company alongside Aqua-Spark.
Tepbac started not as a tech company, but as a media company that published global aquaculture news. The company, whose founder Phong Tran hails from a family of shrimp farmers, saw an opportunity to help farmers digitize parts of their operations. It now supports more than 1,5000 farmers and says it has helped them cut costs by up to 20% and increase profits by as much as 30%.
Aqua-Spark also invested in eniferBio, a fungi-based alternative protein company in Finland. eniferBio makes mycoprotein, which is used as a meat alternative and also for animal and fish feed.
“Greening aquaculture feed by eliminating our reliance on wild ingredients and reducing our footprint is one of our biggest priorities in getting to a more sustainable aquaculture industry,” said Aqua-Spark’s Lissy Smit.
The firm led eniferBio’s €11 million Series A round. Tesi, Valio, Voima Ventures and Nordic Foodtech VC also participated.