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01 June 2016

Press Release - Fish, the Final Farming Frontier

Finance in Motion, one of the world’s leading advisors in impact investing, announced today that it has purchased an equity stake in Aqua-Spark, a global investment fund based in Utrecht, the Netherlands that finances sustainable aquaculture projects. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Finance in Motion advises impact investment funds that manage more than EUR 1.6 billion in assets and operate in more than 20 countries. Finance in Motion’s purchase of the stake signals the company’s first direct investment, a selection based on Aqua-Spark’s leadership in aquaculture, a sector becoming increasingly important for humanity’s ability to be able to feed itself in the long term. 

Finance in Motion Managing Director Florian Meister said: “Sustainability and impact investing are key themes that constitute the very essence and fabric of Finance in Motion. We firmly believe that our investment in Aqua-Spark will produce both positive ecological and social impacts. On the ecological side, sustainable aquaculture alleviates overfishing, reduces the need for converting rain forest to farmland, and, finally, supports the world’s supply of affordable protein. Socially, feeding billions of people will by necessity involve pulling protein from the water while having the lowest impact on natural resources.” 

Mike Velings, Managing Partner at Aqua-Spark said: “The partnership with Finance in Motion is very important to us, and signals recognition by one of the world’s leading impact investors that we are on the right track. Not only in terms of impact but also in terms of financial performance. We are a phenomenal match and look forward to collaborating closely in the near future.” 

For Finance in Motion, the importance of this sector is self-evident: By 2050, the global population is expected to reach 10 billion. Consequently, increasing demand for high-quality food, especially proteins, will place enormous pressure on traditional meat-based agriculture. Aqua-Spark’s strategy is to build an ecosystem of sustainable aquaculture enterprises across the value chain. The company has made five investments in four separate aquaculture projects since January 2015, and expects to make six more this year. The fund recently backed a California biotech firm seeking to produce better fish feed, a smart Indonesian feeding system for fish and shrimp, a fish farm in Mozambique and a fish farm in Norway.  Aqua-Spark invests in projects and businesses working toward safe, sustainable production of aquatic resources. Each investment is chosen for its potential to drive financial returns and spur positive environmental and social outcomes. 

Aquaculture is believed to have surpassed traditional capture fisheries as the main producer of fish, and the current value of the global aquaculture industry is USD 130 billion, a figure expected to grow 50% in the next five years. 

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About Finance in Motion
One of the world’s leading advisors for impact investing, Finance in Motion focuses exclusively on for-profit funds promoting sustainable economic, social and environmental progress in emerging economies and developing countries. With more than EUR 1.6 billion in assets under management, the company leverages development aid through public-private partnerships. In line with the goals of its funds, Finance in Motion promotes long-term relationships and helps partners develop their business. Backed by 13 local offices spread through the more than 20 countries it serves, Finance in Motion advises the following development finance vehicles: the European Fund for Southeast Europe (EFSE), which finances micro-, small and medium enterprises (MSME finance); the Green for Growth Fund, Southeast Europe (GGF), which targets reduction of energy use and CO2 emissions; the SANAD Fund for MSME in the Middle East and North Africa; and the Fund, whose goal is the preservation of biodiversity and the sustainable use of natural resources. 

About Aqua-Spark
Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) we invest in are working toward the production of safe, accessible aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish and plants, in ways that do not harm our oceans. Our investors value the fact that each investment aims to create triple impact—specifically, each investment is chosen for its potential to generate significant financial returns while also activating positive environmental and social outcomes. Aqua-Spark believes that committing to a long-term vision is the way to realize effective and lasting results. When it comes to investments, Aqua-Spark does not seek quick exits; instead, looks for entrepreneurs who strive to build and scale toward the future, who see their business as major economic opportunities that can also help solve environmental and food security challenges over the long-term. As an essential of each investee, Aqua-Spark seeks sustainability. 

Media contact Finance in Motion 
Eric Culp
Press Officer
Tel: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-307
Fax: +49 (0)69 / 271 035-110

Media contact Aqua-Spark
Erin Allweiss
Tel: +1 202-446-8265