Portugal’s Indico Capital Partners launches €50M ocean tech ‘Blue Economy’ fund

Lisbon VC Indico Capital Partners is launching a climate tech fund — dubbed the Indico Blue Fund. The €50 million VC and growth equity fund will target “Blue Economy” (technology to assist the oceans) startups and SMEs operating out of Portugal. So far €36 million has been raised, with the €50 million target expected later this year. More than half of the LPs are from outside Portugal, notably from the United States.

The fund will invest from pre-seed to growth stages, investing between €100,000 and €5 million per company, in tech that will have a positive measurable contribution towards the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular SDG 14 aimed at “Life underwater”.

For fairly obvious reasons (being a coastal state, and having a long maritime history), Portugual has a highly developed maritime ecosystem consisting of universities, research centers, incubators and corporations. Indico Blue Fund will use its fund to scale up solutions coming out of that ecosystem across ocean-related value chains.

Stephan Morais, managing general partner of Indico Capital said: “With the current urgency in addressing climate change the time is right for Indico to expand its commitment towards sustainability with the Blue Fund, while at the same time directly supporting such an innovative and dynamic, as well as important economic sector for Portugal and Europe.”

Verticals for the fund will include Sustainable Aquaculture and Fisheries, Blue BioTech, Digital Ocean, Waste and Circular Economy, Green shipping, Ocean Renewable Energy and other sectors. Indico partner Andre de Almeida Santos will lead the Blue Fund.

Founded by Stephan Morais, Ricardo Torgal and Cristina Fonseca, Indico Capital Partners was the first private institutional early-stage venture capital fund setup in Portugal. It now manages over €102 million euros across three funds. It’s invested €33 million since 2019, in 28 companies, that have collectively raised over €1.1 billion.

This traction has enabled Indico to raise the initial €36 million (of the total €50 million target) for the Blue Fund in the second half of 2021. Indico is also the partner of Google for Startups in Portugal.