Aquaculture for all

Ocean Rainforest to expand kelp production following $6.2 million raise

Seaweed / Macroalgae Investment Offshore aquaculture +4 more

Ocean Rainforest has raised a $6.2 million investment, enabling it to expand its kelp farming operations in the North Atlantic Ocean and the Eastern Pacific Rim as well as accelerate product and market development.

Ocean Rainforest is one of Europe's largest seaweed producers

The company recently secured the first ever cultivation permit for seaweed in US federal waters © Harald Bjorgvin

Based in the Faroe Islands and California, since 2010, the company has developed a proven open ocean cultivation system suitable for offshore conditions in the North Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. Ocean Rainforest is currently among the largest commercial seaweed cultivators in Europe and has obtained the first-ever offshore seaweed cultivation permit in United States federal waters, off the coast of Santa Barbara.

The new investment funding allows Ocean Rainforest to scale up seaweed production to supply the functional food and feed markets leveraging existing company facilities in the Faroe Islands, while also expanding its operations in California.

Marc von Keitz, director at the Grantham Foundation, which led the funding round, said in a press release: “We are excited about Ocean Rainforest’s capabilities to successfully grow seaweed in open ocean environments. This funding will significantly expand their production into off-shore waters and will be critical to meet growing market demand and to reach climate-relevant scale.”

Other investors include Katapult Ocean's Deep Blue fund, Builders Vision and the Ocean Born Foundation. Existing shareholders World Wildlife Fund (WWF-US), Norðoya Íløgufelag and Twynam Invest also participated in the round.

“With limited environmental impacts and a low carbon footprint, seaweed absorbs CO2 and other excess nutrients from the ocean, making this fast-growing crop a climate-smart and nutritious food source,” said Paul Dobbins, senior director of impact investing at World Wildlife Fund - US. “But seaweed can only thrive as a climate change solution if we create a market for the many food, feed and fossil-based replacement products seaweed can provide. Ocean Rainforest is addressing the feed market and their successful capital raise shines a spotlight on this growing opportunity.”

Olavur Gregersen, co-founder and CEO of Ocean Rainforest, said: “We are delighted that our existing shareholders as well as the new highly renowned investors within the sustainable ocean and climate impact contributed to the success of this financing round. The investment enables us to scale up operations in the Faroe Islands and continue to commercialize our cultivation and processing activities of Giant Kelp in California. Furthermore, we will investigate possibilities for replication of our business model in collaboration with local partners in specific locations in Europe and North America.”

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