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Shellfish aquaculture startup lands €2.7-M grant


November 27, 2019
By Nestor Arellano

There’s relatively little investment being made in bivalve production compared to other aquaculture ventures. That’s why Oceano Fresco’s announcement that it had recently closed a €2.7 million (US$1.2 million) financing deal is quite noteworthy.

This month’s conclusion of a funding round led by BlueCrow Capital brings the total Series A round investment in Portugal-based shellfish company to over €7.5 million.

The money will be used to complete the construction of the company’s state-of-the-art bio marine centre which contains a hatchery, laboratories, and offices in Nazaré, on the Atlantic coast of central Portugal.

“This is another important step towards our goal of establishing a fully integrated, systematic, scalable and science-based aquaculture operation for the production of superior bivalve species,” said Bernardo Ferreira de Carvalho, founder, and CEO of Oceano Fresco.

Bivalve species are regarded as economical, highly sustainable and healthy alternatives to many land crops and aquaculture products. While there’s a huge potential for researching and domesticating bivalves, there have not been many investors eager to dive into the €20-billion shellfish market.

Oceano Fresco, which is headquartered in Mira, on the central coast of Portugal, uses traditional and innovative scientific methods to produce and systematically improve high-value bivalve varieties. The company employs experts in fields ranging from shellfish genetics to commercial plant and animal breeding.

“This team is well-positioned to soon deliver a quite relevant sustainable food solution,” said Bernardo Empis Meira, partner at BlueCrow Capital.