Inversa Leathers mission is to combat invasive species on a commercial scale by harvesting highly invasive destructive species such as the lionfish and producing sustainable leather from their skins.
Inversa works with frontline fishermen and farmers to equip and train them in the capture of the species and to offer cash payments (using a cash-to-catch guarantee) at premium prices to incentivise them to capture these species that are otherwise seen as a nuisance.
Looking for: Equity investment
Ticket size: US$3 million seed round.
Market size: INVERSA is chasing the USD$55 billion leather market. INVERSA have already created a US$2M point of sale market for their leather products through pilot launches with 22 different partner brands.
Aarav Chavda, CEO
PescaData is a social enterprise that provides digital tools for fishing organisations and communities to help improve the productivity and quality of life of small-scale fishers and protect marine life through the promotion of sustainable fishing practices.
The company provides software as a service to fishing organizations, with the capabilities to log information related to traceability of produce; sustainable fish certifications; and working / human rights standards in fishing co-operatives. In addition, the company provides peer-to-peer tools for small-scale fishers to connect, communicate, share and implement solutions for healthy oceans and resilient coastal communities.
Looking for: Debt or equity funding
Ticket size: USD$200,000 (for up to 15% of the company) to further develop and implement the SaaS model (business and premium versions) and e-learning modules for fishers, fishing organisations and associated stakeholders. Expected ROI of 19 – 22% by 2030.
Market size: PescaData’s plan is for its SaaS model to reach 60% of Mexico’s 5,000 small-scale fishing organisations (over 300,000 fishers) and to expand out to a similar number in Latin America.
Stuart Fulton, Founder
By using satellite technology, SatSense Solutions carries out remote imaging and data collection and combining it with geospatial analytics to address the risks and challenges of sustainable tourism in the Sunderbans area. The Sunderbans is a low-lying, densely populated area with low average income per household. It is prone to typhoons and flooding, relying on the receding mangrove forest for protection.
Looking for: Grant funding
Ticket size: In total USD$400 – 500,000, can be split into USD$100,000 per project/site.
Market size: Once rolled out across the Sunderbans (India, Bangladesh), the company’s project pipeline includes locations in Indonesia, through Earth Security’s M40 initiative; and several sites in Africa, through the Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience. Ultimately, the initiative is looking to scale to 40 locations worldwide.
Pranav Pasari, CEO
Aqua-farms Organisation (AFO) aims to offer an innovative financing solution to empower women seaweed farmers in East Africa. Through a rent-to-buy approach, AFO provides affordable access to essential equipment, training and resources for the more productive deep-water seaweed farming using tubular net technologies. The produce is then aggregated, processed and linked to the market, both for bulk buyers of raw material as well as a specialist shop (the Sustainable Blue Shop) that sells value-added products such as cosmetics and food products.
Looking for: a combination of grant and equity funding.
Ticket size: Grant funding: USD$300,000 to be used for designing the business structure and setting up the framework for the rent-to-buy approach, developing the microcredit and savings scheme, creating the operational and financial model, conducting feasibility studies, and implementing necessary training programs for women seaweed farmers in Tanzania.
Equity funding: USD$500,000 used to acquire equipment and resources; establish the infrastructure and logistics; and invest in human resources for the scaled up sustainable production, processing and marketing of the seaweed.
Market size: The global market for seaweed is rapidly growing, primarily as a food ingredient (humans and domestic animals) due to its nutritious benefits, but also due to innovative new applications such as fertiliser and bioplastics. Africa’s seaweed supply currently accounts for only 1% of the global seaweed supply, representing a significant market opportunity for Tanzania’s producers.
Impact of the investment:
The Save the Waves Coalition is developing the world’s first parametric insurance policy and surf ecosystem resilience trust fund that works to: (i) insure the surf breaks and their associated tourism value; and (ii) build conservation measures that strengthen the resilience of the breaks to climate events as well as develop local capacities and resources for disaster preparedness and post-event rapid ecosystem restoration.
The insurance product is triggered through a set of defined parameters and payouts are intended to help financially sustain communities for loss of revenue as a result of climate related events that affect the ecosystem and its ability to produce surf breaks.
Looking for: Grant funding
Ticket size: USD$1.2M for the first year, and USD$500,000 for the next three years for each site.
Market size: Coastal communities in developing economies rely on surf breaks and associated ecosystems, such as mangroves and coral reefs, which are highly vulnerable to climate disasters. The global surf tourism industry, with over 35 million surfers, is valued at USD$31.5-64.9 billion annually.
Nik Strong-Cvetich, CEO
Acari LLC produces pet food out of invasive fish species. It is already working with the devil fish in Mexico’s fresh waters and has a supply chain for producing and distributing popular jerky treats for cats and dogs.
Looking for: Grant and equity funding
Ticket size: USD$50K in grant funding to develop the lionfish supply chain by equipping fishing co-operatives with compliant processing facilities and cover training and development costs.
USD$500K investment in the company itself via a SAFE note at a USD$4 million valuation cap to fund inventory, distribution and marketing.
Market size: The US pet treat market is valued at USD$6.7 billion per year, while fish-based pet foods are valued at over USD$10 billion per year. Fueling growth in the market is strong demand for sustainable and novel proteins and Acari’s Pezzy Pets brand is a market leader in the sustainability segment.
Mike Mitchell, Co-founder & CEO
Sayari Ventures is a new company in the seaweed sector. It plans to become a vertically integrated sustainable seaweed company, transforming the way seaweed is produced in East Africa, bringing in local value addition with increased margins for both the company and its network of seaweed farmers as well as the ecosystem benefits that sustainable seaweed production can provide.
Looking for: Grant and equity funding.
Ticket size: Extended pilot: USD$50K in grant funding (applied for to ORIC) towards building and testing the seaweed small-holder farmer model.
Phase 1: USD$500K in grant funding for first phase of roll out of small-holder farmer model; proof of scalability, proof that unit economics of seaweed farming work for both individual farmers and their families and for Sayari Ventures as a business.
Phase 2: USD$1.5M in grant funding to scale out the small-holder farmer model; USD$1M in equity to professionalise seaweed processing.
Market size: Africa’s seaweed supply currently accounts for only 1% of the global seaweed supply. This translates to a total of approximately 140,000 tons across 13 countries on the continent. At the same time, global projections indicate that the seaweed market will experience significant growth, reaching USD$30 billion or more by 2030.
Patrik Huber, Founder
Pula Advisers is developing a comprehensive insurance coverage to compensate against typhoon damage with efficient and timely pay-outs. The company aims to help farmers recover losses caused by tropical storms and typhoons, floods and droughts, hence ensuring climate resilience and economic sustainability.
The insurance is being designed to be more affordable, and to provide quick and transparent pay-outs, compared to traditional indemnity products. As index insurance does not require the traditional services of insurance claims assessors and individual claim assessment, the product is more affordable compared to traditional indemnity products hence driving up its uptake and scale.
Looking for: Grant funding
Ticket size: Product development costs: USD$100K in grant funding.
Market size: 60% of the population of the Philippines lives on the coast, with over 200,000 households relying on coastal farming for their livelihoods. Pula’s objective is insure USD$99,720,000 worth of agricultural investment for 160,000 smallholder farmers across 5 years.
Dominik Zotti, Director
ABALOBI is a technology company that is applying data and Technology for Good to develop thriving, equitable, resilient and sustainable small-scale fishing communities.
Solutions that ABALOBI has developed are fisher-led and include investments in decentralised cold chain infrastructure and logistics in coastal communities; activating tailored financial services for fishers; developing an online marketplace linking South African small-scale fishers with traceable ecologically and socially fair catches to fair, higher value markets; and supporting fishers to implement locally-led fisheries improvement programmes.
Looking for: a combination of grant funding for the non-profit making side of its operations; and soft (concessional / forgiveable) funding towards the higher risk growth elements and those that are still under R&D. Equity funding is sought for the development of the SA marketplace and the SaaS product development.
USD$500k as grant to NPO: R&D and impact work, fisheries improvement, food security, catch monitoring, training and skills building in small-scale fisheries;
USD$1.5M as forgiveable / concessional loan to NPO: for growth – onboarding of more fishers, working capital to build out logistics, stock holding potential, and export market development
USD$ 500K to 1.5M as equity for a 10 – 20% share in the business: Tech building and Software-as-a-Service activation in global markets.
Market size: The SA online marketplace would be profitable with a sales volume of 15 tons a month; overall estimated market opportunity of approximately 60 tons a month.
25 SaaS partner around the globe make the technology platform self-sustainable; market opportunity is 150 partners across the globe in the next decade.
Serge Raemaekers, Founder & Director
MARI Oceans is an Indonesian community based seaweed farming company that is working towards connecting and creating a fairer seaweed ecosystem that is regenerative and restorative in its seaweed farming practices as well as more equitable in the distribution of benefits.
This involves a transition from artisanal to contract farming such that farmers are always paid in cash, in full upon delivery of their produce; together with the establishment of digital platforms and market linkages to support traceability; microfinance; farmer extension services and online marketplaces.
Looking for: Blended finance, open to all instrument types including equity.
Ticket size: USD$1.5M to fund a mixture of CAPEX and OPEX for expansion of the South Sulawesi sites.
Fred Puckle-Hobbs, CEO
The Ocean Resilience Innovation Challenge (ORIC) is a crucial component of ORRAA’s platform to build a pipeline of investable projects. It is driven from the ground-up, with projects delivering a genuine impact in local communities, while also mitigating ocean and climate risk. Drawing on the multi-sector expertise of our members and partners, the Challenge surfaces, grows and scales promising solutions, acting as a catalyst to accelerate both locally led innovation and investment to protect the Ocean and the communities whose lives and livelihoods depend on it.
Our mission is to build the resilience of 250 million climate vulnerable coastal people by 2030, by deploying at least USD$500 million of investment into coastal and ocean resilience through the development of at least 50 novel finance and insurance products.
The Ocean Risk and Resilience Action Alliance (“ORRAA” or the “Alliance”) is the only multi-stakeholder convenor connecting the international finance and insurance sectors, governments, non-profits and stakeholders from the Global South focused on driving financial innovations to deliver a sustainable and equitable blue economy and more resilient coastal communities.
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