The Fund’s First Consumer Product Offers Sustainable Ready to Prepare Fish in the Freezer Section
Press Release – Utrecht, Holland (December 28, 2016) — Aqua-Spark, the first investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture, today announced an investment in LoveTheWild, a US-based company which presents sustainable, delicious ready to prepare seafood kits which go from freezer to plate in less than 30 minutes.
LoveTheWild is currently sold in almost 600 stores nationwide, and you can find where to buy products here.
The plan is to reach over 6,000 stores in the next five years, and make sustainable seafood available to everyone. In addition to investing $2.5 million, Aqua-Spark will work with the company to strengthen the criteria and systems through which LoveTheWild selects and monitors farms, thereby ensuring the most sustainable seafood possible.
LoveTheWild’s product is presently 60% farmed fish and 40% wild fish, and the objective – with guidance from Aqua-Spark – is to quickly move towards 100% sustainable farmed fish. This means farms that do not harm the environment, are not using antibiotics or chemicals, and ultimately prioritize the health of the fish, and thus the health of the consumer.
Changing the market starts with changing palates. LoveTheWild is doing that with a delicious selection of 6 easy-to-prepare sustainable fish and sauce combinations, including “Mango Sriracha Chutney” and “Roasted Red Pepper Almond,” that take the intimidation away from preparing fish at home. They encourage consumers to think beyond traditional fish, such as salmon, and try a range of environmentally-friendly options, like barramundi or striped bass.
“This is our first foray into the consumer market, and LoveTheWild is the ideal partner,” explained Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “We share the same values when it comes to protecting ocean species and giving people access to delicious, healthy, and sustainable fish so they can eat more fish and reap the benefits from doing so without compromising our planet. In addition, with their dedication to transparency, LoveTheWild takes the guessing out of sustainability and showcases well-farmed fish.”
“Responsible aquaculture has the potential to fight some of the most serious challenges we face as a planet, and will be made or broken by consumer perceptions about seafood,” explained Jacqueline Claudia and Christy Brouker, co-founders of LoveTheWild. “Our goal isn’t just to offer sustainable seafood, butto make it the most exciting and in demand consumer protein. In addition to a strategic investment, Aqua-Spark brings industry expertise, which when combined with our product, puts us one step closer to changing the way Americans think about farmed seafood.”
“It’s rare in the early stage fundraising space for entrepreneurs to actually get a deal done with the firm they wanted all along and at terms that are a win-win for both sides, and that’s what happened here,” said Bill Mark, CFO of LoveTheWild. “We are very excited about the partnership with Aqua-Spark and look forward to building an exciting brand with them in the coming years.”
Aqua-Spark is an investment fund with a focus on sustainable aquaculture businesses around the world. The small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) in which they invest are working toward the production of safe, accessible aquatic life, such as fish, shellfish and plants. Aqua-Spark believes that committing to a long-term vision is the way to realize effective and lasting results.
Aqua-Spark launched in December 2013. Since that time, the fund has made 9 investments in 7 complementary SMEs including: Calysta, Chicoa, eFishery, Indian Ocean Trepang, LoveTheWild, Matorka and Sogn Aqua.
Thus far, Aqua-Spark has $ 27.25 million under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to grow to $400 million by 2025.
Founded in Boulder, Colo., by Jacqueline Claudia and Christy Brouker in 2014, LoveTheWild’s mission is to “save the world, one delicious fish at a time.” LoveTheWild pairs sustainable fish with bold sauces for a restaurant quality meal with less effort. Committed to corporate sustainability, the company was named a Fish 2.0 award winner in 2015. LoveTheWild’s founders actively promote the benefits of sustainable fish and healthy diets.