Ocean impact investment fund reaches $92m second close

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A new fund dedicated to impact investments into sustainable marine and coastal projects has reached more than $92m of commitments through a second close.

The Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund, which is being raised by Natixis affiliate Mirova, will look to deliver sustainable economic returns in fisheries, aquaculture, associated seafood supply chains, ocean waste, recycling and marine conservation.

Mirova Natural Capital Limited is the investment advisor to the fund, which is hoping to reach more than $100m through a final close by the end of the year.

The most recent backers of the vehicle include German Development Bank KFW and French insurers BNP Paribas Cardif and Garance.

SOF principal Simon Dent said, “We are delighted to announce the second close for the Althelia Sustainable Ocean Fund and welcome the support from our new investors.

“This fund allows us to direct meaningful investments at scale to support sustainable business models and enterprises in the blue economy within developing countries and small island states while also addressing the most pressing issues in ocean conservation and resilience.”

Mirova Natural Capital co-founder and managing director Sylvain Goupille added, “It is a very important step for Mirova and its natural capital platform; it demonstrates leadership in impact investing and natural capital investment, that we intend to build upon to reach €1bn of assets under management dedicated to natural capital by 2022.”

The fund benefits from a partnership with the US Agency for International Development, and has executed a risk sharing guarantee through USAID’s Development Credit Authority that will provide loan guarantees directly to portfolio investments made by the SOF.

Target impacts include improved food and climate security, stabilisation or increased fish stocks, improved livelihoods and economic value for local stakeholders, prevention of marine waste and plastic pollution, as well as ecological biodiversity and conservation gains in ocean and coastal ecosystems.

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