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"Industry heavyweights" help raise €4 million for aquaculture start-ups

21 August 2019, at 3:53am

Hatch, the world’s first accelerator for sustainable aquaculture startups, is half way through raising its first €8 million fund.

The fund is entirely dedicated to high-potential aquaculture technology startups and is slated to close in November 2019. So far, according to Hatch, the funds have been raised by a combination of "industry heavyweights, as well as experienced entrepreneurs".

Einar Wathne has joined Hatch's advisory board
Einar Wathne has joined Hatch's advisory board

The news comes as the accelerator has put together a senior fund advisory board before kicking off its third accelerator cohort at the Natural Energy Lab Hawaii in Kona, Big Island, on 26 August. The advisors were selected based on their experience in venture capital, aquaculture and entrepreneurial ability.

"We are combining some big names in aquaculture and venture capital in our board of advisors, all of them successful entrepreneurs and investors themselves. Our fund advisory board has been instrumental in helping us raise the fund so far and most of our advisors are also invested themselves“, says Carsten Krome, managing partner at Hatch.

Brian Wynn brings extensive shrimp production experience to the board
Brian Wynn brings extensive shrimp production experience to the board

The board for the first-ever aquaculture technology venture fund consists of:

  • Brian Wynn - the LA-based founder and former CEO of Rubicon Resources, a vertically integrated sustainable shrimp farming business that he bootstrapped to $230 million in sales and sold to Highliner for $107 million in 2017. "Brian brings an excellent skill set and network of supply chain and warm-water farming (shrimp) to the table," say Hatch.
  • Einar Wathne - the former CEO of EWOS, who was instrumental in its sale to Cargill for $1.5 billion in 2015. He since has led what became Cargill Aqua Nutrition as president and has stepped down in January 2019. He is now the COB of the Seafood Innovation Cluster, an organisation formed by the major salmon farmers and suppliers in Norway to promote industry. "Einar comes with an important skill set in cold-water fish farming and fish farming supply (feed, health products etc) as well as a wealth in leadership and management experience," Hatch explain.
Eric Archambeau
Eric Archambeau
  • Eric Archambeau - a founding partner of Astanor Ventures, he is a former Silicon Valley entrepreneur turned venture capitalist now focusing on technology-enabled sustainable agriculture and food investments. Notable investments include Infarm - an indoor farming Berlin based company specialised on micro-herbs and Ynsect, a large-scale insect production company for the pet food and aquaculture markets. Since 2015, he has been serving as global chairman of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation.
  • Kai Sato - founder of Kaizen Reserve, which serves as an investment advisor to family offices and corporations, helping align their existing assets with synergistic startups. He is also the founding partner of Vintage Capital Investments, which focuses on technology and media investments in sports. Before his transition to venture capital, Kai cofounded, FieldLevel, the social network dedicated to sports recruiting and participated as an entrepreneur in the inaugural Los Angeles Dodgers Accelerator. He works closely with accelerators across multiple industries and is also Hatch's entrepreneur-In-residence, actively mentoring its cohort companies.
Kai Sato
Kai Sato

The board is expected to have a major impact on the upcoming Hatch cohort as well as the existing portfolio, continuing and accelerating the sharp growth trajectory Hatch has found itself on since its founding in 2018. The company has already done a first close at around half of its €8 million funding goal.

"This is the first seed fund that has ever been raised for aquaculture start-ups. It´s a great indication that investor interest in the sector is continuously growing and that is to no surprise to us given the opportunities we are presented with. Aquaculture is ready to become a mainstream venture capital target," says Krome.