Private equity firm invests in Brazilian tilapia producer

Ocean 14 Capital has invested EUR 10 million to finance the entirety of Tilabras’ growth plan, to expand production and continue its vertical integration, including its own hatchery.

Private equity firm invests in Brazilian sustainable tilapia producer
October 10, 2022

The recently established Ocean 14 Capital fund has announced an investment of EUR 10 million (USD 9.7 million) in Tilabras, a Brazilian family-owned company that produces tilapia using a sustainable fish farming model based on a vegan diet and minimal CO2 footprint offering a low-impact alternative to other forms of wild-caught white fish. Raised with care in deep waters and large pens with floating plant-based feeds, tilapia from Tilabras is a high-quality final product free from antibiotics and growth hormones.

The Ocean 14 Capital, which focuses primarily on investing in growth-stage businesses, is aimed to use two-thirds of the fund to invest in European companies while the rest is meant for companies from the rest of the world. This month, the fund received a commitment of EUR 10 (USD 9.7 million) from the Constitutional Reserve Fund of Monaco to support its mission of funding sustainable solutions to improve ocean health. With this backing from the sovereign wealth fund, the Ocean 14 Capital EUR 150 million (USD 145,4 million) impact fund is on track to invest in eight companies this year and to grow its portfolio to between twenty and twenty-five businesses within three years.

“Our partnership with Tilabras continues Ocean 14 Capital’s direct focus on the intersection of sustainability and finance, creating impactful, industrial platforms enabling measured, sustainable growth of one of the most efficient forms of protein production on the planet. Ocean 14 Capital is proud to partner with a group that is aligned with our convergent approach to both financial and natural capital,” said Francisco Saraiva Gomes, founding partner, and chief investment officer at Ocean 14 Capital. “The funds capital will be used to expand Tilabras’s farming base, increasing capacity and efficiency of production, as well as continuing the vertical integration of the group to a new processing plant and hatchery. Tilapia farmed inland in high-carrying capacity man-made sites is the most sustainable alternative to whitefish caught from the ocean. The fund’s investment in Tilabras supports the company’s vision to become the lowest ‘natural-cost’ at-scale producer, of white fish in the world.”

“Ocean 14 Capital’s expertise, knowledge, and the fund’s ability to execute will help us enhance growth while improving resource efficiency. The period ahead of us is one of great expansion and development and we must do so with an ever-stronger commitment to sustainability. We are looking forward to building our hatchery and breeding operations, as well as the expansion of our farming and processing plants,” said Nicolas Landolt, Tilabras’s founder.

“Our partnership with Tilabras focuses on enabling this transition to large-scale, low-impact fish farming, harnessing the best of modern technology. Tilapia is set to grow to a USD 9.2 billion industry by 2027 - it is the future in terms of how we can feed the world,” said Chris Gorell Barnes, founding partner of Ocean 14 Capital.

The fund has already made three investments this year funding SyAqua, an international shrimp breeding technology specialist, AION, a Norwegian plastic management platform that uses proprietary technology to offer ‘Circularity As A Service’ to large-scale industries, and MITO, a clam hatchery and breeding Italian company.