Sweden’s foodtech company Nordic SeaFarm has raised 2 million euros in the latest funding round supported by JCE Ventures, Almi Invest, and Kale United to become Europe’s largest producer of plant-based seafood. The Gothenburg-based company, which produces fair-trade seaweed, works with various food chain stakeholders to develop new products and services related to aquaculture in order to provide a sustainable food source to its customers.
Nordic SeaFarm raised 20 MSEK to drive blue revolution
To drive a blue revolution, Nordic SeaFarm has raised SEK 20 million (€2 million) in new capital. The company’s investors include JCE Ventures, Almi Invest, and Kale United, as well as business angels such as star chef Thomas Sjögren and board member Magdalena Gerger. Now it is scaling up the company’s west coast farms to become Europe’s largest producer of plant-based seafood.
The global market for seaweed is large, around SEK 150 billion (around €15 billion), and it is expected to grow rapidly at around 11% per year. The Swedish company has therefore recognised the potential for development in this sector and developed a unique method of cultivating plant-based crops in the sea. With this cash injection, it now has the opportunity to gear up to meet the rapidly growing demand for sustainably grown seaweed. The goal is to become the largest in Europe within five years.
“Nordic SeaFarm has a unique expertise and cultivation method that allows for a scalability that we believe will be beneficial for both the company’s development and have a positive sustainability contribution to the planet. As long-term investors, we are pleased to be part of another investment in foodtech and sustainable development” says Sofia Karlsson, Investment Director at JCE.
Nordic Seafarm currently sell the products sugar kelp and sea salad to several of Sweden’s top Michelin restaurants and food producers. Seaweed is becoming increasingly popular among the country’s luxury restaurants – both for its flavour and for its sustainable properties as a raw material and as a nutrient.
It’s also the first primal butter of the year as it can be harvested much earlier than land-based vegetables, extending the season. Star chef Thomas Sjögren, who runs restaurants near the company’s sea farm outside Fjällbacka, became interested after testing the product at his restaurant.
“It really started a year ago when I contacted them to find a collaboration. One thing led to another, and now I decided to invest. I believe in this both from an environmental point of view, but also because the raw materials will need to be used more in the future.” says Thomas Sjögren.
The seaweed industry – great potential for the future
Although the major producers today are located in Asia, they are convinced that there is plenty of room for more European producers, given today’s increasing demands for higher traceability and proven sustainable production methods. The cold and nutrient-rich waters of the North Sea give them unique conditions to grow seaweed efficiently with high quality and scalability compared to other European countries.
“Harnessing the potential of the sea and using seaweed as a raw material will play a major role in the transition towards more sustainable food production.
With the new capital, we can drive a blue revolution, expanding offshore farming capacity from today’s 30 tonnes to over 300 tonnes per year, accelerating our product development and making our products available to a wider audience.
We are very pleased to have strong and passionate owners who not only contribute capital, but also solid experience in developing tomorrow’s food products.” says Simon Johansson, CEO of Nordic SeaFarm.