Faber launches first blue economy ‘deep tech’ fund
Portuguese venture capital firm Faber announced today the launch of the firm’s new fund, Faber Blue Pioneers I, that will invest in early stage startups developing innovative deep tech solutions for positive impact on ocean sustainability and climate action. The fund is targeting a total size of 30 million euros, including funding from Portugal Blue as well as private commitments from strategic impact-driven institutional investors.
The Faber Blue Pioneers Fund will invest in the early stages, from pre-seed to series A, of global high potential blue deep-tech startups, primarily from Portugal and Southern Europe, aiming for high positive impact on ocean sustainability and climate action.
The fund is targeting a total size of €30m, including funding from Portugal Blue, as well as private commitments from strategic impact-driven institutional investors like Sociedade Francisco Manuel dos Santos (through its investment arm Movendo Capital), Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and Champalimaud Foundation.
Faber Blue Pioneers Fund has the ambition of investing in a portfolio of 20-25 early stage companies developing innovative deep-tech solutions with global ambition, in areas such as blue biotech, food and feed from the ocean, ocean health, ocean intelligence or the decarbonisation of multiple industries.
Faber Blue Pioneers Fund will be managed by Faber Capital, namely by a new dedicated investment team led by Rita Sousa and Carlos Esteban as Fund Partners and by Bruno Ferreira as Venture Partner, combining extensive investment and entrepreneurial track record. The team will work closely with a specialised network of expert advisors, including senior strategic advisor Tiago Pitta e Cunha (CEO of Oceano Azul Foundation) and scientific lead advisors Susana Moreira and Joana Moreira da Silva (Science and Innovation Officers of Ciimar) among other scientists, founders and industry experts.
The fund will also leverage Faber Capital’s investment experience and specialist approach in backing high-potential founders with scientific or deep engineering backgrounds. The firm has been an early investor in “hard tech” companies such as Unbabel or Codacy through Faber’s initial vehicle, as well as in SWORD Health, iLoF, YData or Abtrace, most recently through Faber Tech II, the Artificial Intelligence & Data focused fund also backed by the EIF, with its final close planned for early 2022.
The approval of Faber Blue Pioneers Fund, the first fund selected under PORTUGAL BLUE, was jointly announced today in an event with the presences of the Portuguese Minister of Sea, Ricardo Serrão Santos, the Chief Executive of the European Investment Fund (EIF), Alain Godard, and was closed by the Minister of State for the Economy and the Digital Transition, Pedro Siza Vieira.
Launched in October 2020, PORTUGAL BLUE is a partnership between the EIF – the venture capital arm of the European Investment Bank (EIB) Group –, Banco Português de Fomento (BPF) and the Portuguese Government, through Fundo Azul.
The Program is focused on blue economy investments with climate impact and sustainable development goals. It was created to attract private capital from public and institutional investors into the local blue economy landscape through venture capital and private equity funds managed by Portuguese-based teams.