Ocean 14 Capital Fund has agreed to invest in MITO S.r.L (“MITO”), a leader in the breeding and hatching of clams. This investment is part of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG 14): Life Below Water.
Thereby, MITO will increase its operational capacity to 2 billion seeds annually over the next few years. Besides, the Ocean 14 Capital Fund plans to invest an additional €5 million investment to scale and grow the business further.
In more detail, MITO integrates bio-secure hatchery operations in the Netherlands with local nursery centres in the core Italian market. The company is co-founded by Gianluigi Lago, Paola Landri, and Maurizio Varagnolo. They are industry veterans with deep expertise in breeding and farming Veneridae clams.
Regarding the start of its European bivalves strategy, Katherine Elbert, Investment Analyst and co-Investment Lead for MITO at Ocean 14 Capital (O14C) said: “We couldn’t have arranged a better starting investment for the Fund’s European bivalves strategy. Similar to what happened to oysters, a strong supply of viable hatchery seed is key for the sustainable development of the industry.”
On the other hand, MITO’s Chief Operating Officer, Gianluigi Lago stated: “O14C has been a great partner for us. We are very excited about the opportunity our partnership will capture. With their investment and support, MITO will soon lead the supply of hatchery clam seed in Europe.”
In addition, Francisco Saraiva Gomes, Founding Partner and Chief Investment Officer of the Fund, explained: “It’s a great protein, with a superior production system, highly leverageable through technology and convergent with coastal conservation. We know a lot, and where we can develop superior partnerships with the industry leaders. It’s a great impact growth thesis: the team is fantastic, we’re building at book value, and MITO’s sales are overbooked.”
According to O14C, the European production of clams has declined due to a lack of wildly sourced seed. As well as the abiotic stress and disease, resulting in a spat mortality rate of over 50%3. Its main advantage is they produce less than 2kg of CO/ 100g of protein, versus the European average of 13kg per 100g of animal protein, and 50kg/100g of beef protein.
About Ocean 14 Capital Fund
Ocean 14 Capital Fund 1 SCSp (‘O14C’ or the ‘Fund’) is an impact fund targeting €150 million. It focused on driving a sustainable and regenerative blue economy. The Fund’s investment adviser, Ocean 14 Capital Ltd combines more than 65 years of investment, impact, and industry experience.
The investment adviser’s team includes the world’s most renowned scientists and marine biologists. It is considered that they have unparalleled access to proprietary deal flow and sector knowledge
About MITO S.r.L
MITO S.r.L, based in the Veneto region of Italy. It focuses on the production of clam seed through specialized hatcheries and nurseries in the largest clam farming region in Europe. It supplies high-quality clam juveniles that increase the production of low-impact and low-carbon protein increasing the availability of clam seed,
Also, the process displaces farmers’ dependency on wildly sourced stocks. While simultaneously decreasing their mortality in grow-out and protecting the environment within the lagoon. This takes the pressure off the heavily overfished wild clam populations.