Singapore-based venture capital firm Visvires New Protein (VVNP) has announced an investment in Israeli aquaculture startup ViAqua.
No financial details were disclosed about the size of the investment.
According to an official statement, ViAqua’s previous investors include Nutreco, a leader in animal nutrition and aqua feed; Trendlines, an Israeli accelerator; and the Technion Institute of Technology.
Launched in 2014, ViAqua aims to resolve viral infections in aquaculture. It is developing an orally administrated treatment targeting the White Spot Syndrome Virus, a disease that affects shrimp. Mortality rates for this disease typically reach 100 per cent within five days of its onset.
Viral pathogens like these usually result in substantial losses for companies, accounting for more than 60 per cent of disease-associated losses and more than $3 billion of losses in global shrimp production annually.
According to VisVires New Protein, ViAqua’s solution has pertinent relevance to Asia where most of shrimp farming is already at near capacity.
Matthieu Vermersch, founder and partner of VisVires New Protein, said: “ViAqua’s transformational solution for viral infections in shrimp will dramatically elevate the efficiency and quality of the entire shrimp aquaculture industry…It is an industry that is traditionally plagued by poor disease management and high mortality rates.”
ViAqua plans to use the funds to perform research and development, and optimise its final product before bringing it to market.
VVNP recently closed its first $40-million first fund in June and has plans to launch a $100-million second fund in 2019. It claims to be the first venture fund in Asia focusing exclusively on disruptive solutions for the global food and feed system.