According to a news release from Ocean 14 Capital, the €30 million marks the first time Ingka Investments, the investment arm of Ingka Group, which represents the largest IKEA retailer, has invested in the blue economy. The funding is expected to help shore up marine innovators who work to save the seas.
Following the Principality of Monaco’s €10 million commitment from the sovereign wealth fund in September 2022, Ocean 14 Capital has now raised €130 million since launching its growth-stage impact fund in November 2021.
With this backing, the purpose-led €150 million impact fund believes it is well on track to grow its portfolio to between 20-25 businesses within three years, having invested in four companies to date.
Ocean action was a major talking point at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting 2023 held in January in Davos, Switzerland.
A dedicated session on Ocean 20: Building a Sustainable Blue Economy featured Peter Thomson, the UN Secretary-General's special envoy for the ocean and co-chair of the World Economic Forum's community of ocean leaders, Friends of Ocean Action, flag that a sustainable blue economy represents no less than “the future of human security” and is critical for intergenerational justice – as he urged leaders to seize the critical opportunities for Ocean Action in 2023.
Using the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 14: Life Below Water as a guiding principle, Ocean 14 Capital is searching for entrepreneurs and businesses with big ideas around aquaculture and alternative proteins, reducing plastic waste pollution, protecting ecosystems and marine flora and ending overfishing.
The fund’s mission is to supercharge the blue economy, which is expected to be worth $3 trillion by 2030, according to the OECD. At the same time, it will provide jobs to 40 million people.
Chris Gorell Barnes, founding partner of Ocean 14 Capital, said: “It is a real testament to the quality of our fund and intention that Ingka Investments has come on board in such a significant capacity.
“If there’s no ocean, there’s no us – it connects us all. It provides food security and plays a vital role in achieving the UN sustainability agenda.
“Davos 2023 radically shifted the dial on the conversation this year. There is a powerful undercurrent of momentum emerging as people are increasingly waking up to the fact that ocean’s health is the engine to economic growth – and critical to national and global development.
“Is this the most important investment thesis of our time? We fervently believe yes. Without a healthy marine eco-system there is zero chance of humanity surviving.
“I’d like to think we are at the tipping point of where the blue economy becomes mainstream. In less than two years we have backed four ground-breaking growth-stage companies, doing extraordinary work. So for Ingka Investments to recognise this just spurs us on further.
“Tackling climate change and food security is vital for retailers – ocean health has a direct positive impact for consumers and commerce.”
Head of financial market investments at Ingka Investments, Samuel Rundle said: “Ingka Group is guided by the IKEA vision to create a better everyday life for the many. As a purpose-led company, our aim is to invest with impact, delivering positive returns for communities and the environment for generations to come. Ocean health is critical to a cleaner and more inclusive recovery. We were very impressed with the strategy of the Ocean 14 team and are excited to support the acceleration of sustainable solutions to improve our oceans.”
First launched in November of 2021, the Ocean 14 Capital fund will focus primarily on investing in growth-stage businesses. It is aiming that around two thirds of the fund will go to companies based in Europe, with the remainder aimed to be used to invest in the rest of the world.