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Private equity takes to the high seas

Illustration of a fishing hook sinking into an ocean of hundred dollar bills.

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

French private equity firm Swen Capital Partners raised €170 million (~$180 million) to invest in ocean sustainability companies.

Why it matters: Marine-focused climate investing continues to gain steam.

Details: Swen had sought to raise €120 million for its Blue Ocean Fund.

  • Investors include Abeille Assurances, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Fund, insurance firms MACIF and MAIF, Crédit Mutuel Arkéa, the French Public Investment Bank, Builders Vision, Ferd, the Planet Ocean Fund, and ocean research institute Ifremer.

Of note: MACIF and Crédit Mutuel Arkéa were listed as LPs at the fund's launch in September 2021, per PitchBook.

State of play: The fund has made nine investments in software and hardware companies.

  • Three of the nine are: a Norwegian in-water hull-cleaning service, a U.K.-based biodiversity monitoring provider, and a French company that converts boat combustion engines into hydro-electrics.

Context: A range of investors dove into ocean investing in recent years.

  • Propeller, a Boston-based VC, raised $100 million in venture funding for ocean solutions.
  • Others include public equity investors Credit Suisse Rockefeller Ocean Engagement Fund and Dutch-based Aqua Spark, and London-based private equity Ocean 14 Capital.
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