Award-winning marine conservation business secures CIOSIF investment
Cornwall based ARC Marine has secured a £1m equity investment from the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund (CIOSIF), as part of a larger £2m-plus funding round.
The deal was led by the FSE Group, the appointed fund manager for CIOSIF, with the investment enabling ARC (Accelerating Reef Creation) Marine to create at least six new positions over the next three years as the business continues to expand its operations.
Human activity is exacerbating the effects of climate change globally, with major impacts on ocean health. ARC Marine provide sustainable solutions to combat these subsea impacts.
Since 2015, ARC Marine have been developing and creating nature-inclusive products using recycled materials. The company’s first product – Reef Cubes – are the only carbon-neutral, plastic-free solution for marine habitat restoration in the world, and a sought-after solution for various global marine projects.
Regionally made using their propriety non-toxic concrete, their products are used in a variety of marine applications across aquaculture, coastal defence, reef conservation, eco-engineering and sub-sea protection. They can help reduce the carbon footprint of deployments by 90%, naturally merging into ecosystems and negating costly, often damaging decommissioning activity.
In this way, ARC Marine aims to have an environmental, economic and societal impact across the South West and beyond.
Tom Birbeck, Co-Founder & CEO of ARC Marine commented: “This funding is critical to ARC Marine being able to expand production in Cornwall, enabling us to accelerate growth to meet increasing demand from the marine renewables sector globally, as well as provide opportunities across our region. Having supportive investors such as CIOSIF will be key to underpinning our aspirations of leading the world in protecting and enhancing marine habitats from necessary man-made intervention.”
Meg Salt, Investment Manager at The FSE Group, added “With the growing global focus on carbon net zero and ocean health, ARC Marine is well placed to disrupt and exploit the emerging market for nature-inclusive design habitat enhancement and to replace traditional unsustainable subsea technologies. Their products can enhance and rebuild marine habitats, restoring biodiversity, while minimising the carbon footprint to bring their products to market. We look forward to working with Tom and helping the company achieve their expansion plan.”
The £40m Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund provides debt and equity finance from £25,000 to £2 million to help growing small businesses across the region. It has been established by the British Business Bank in partnership with the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP).
Ken Cooper, Managing Director from the British Business Bank, said: “We’re delighted that we are actively supporting sustainability and innovation through the British Business Bank’s regional funds. With the environment high on the global and regional agenda, tackling biodiversity loss is a priority on land and sea. ARC Marine are showing how it is possible to leave a sustainable marine habitat benefit as a positive legacy for future generations.”
John Acornley, LEP non-executive director and chair of the CIOSIF Advisory Board, said: “It is great to see ARC Marine at the forefront of eco-engineering, supported initially by Cornwall’s Marine-i technology innovation project and Plymouth University to develop their unique product for global markets, and now accelerated by CIOSIF’s investment. This is an impressive solution to a global problem and it is fantastic to see Cornwall leading the charge.”
Craig Dudenhoeffer, Chief Innovation Officer, Sustainable Ocean Alliance and Co-Founder of the Ocean Solutions Accelerator: “Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is dedicated to restoring the health of the ocean in our lifetime. We are delighted to see ARC Marine, one of our 45 alumni start-ups, complete this successful funding round. We are thrilled to continue supporting ARC Marine as they develop solutions for improving the well-being of our ocean.”
Advisers on the transaction were: Field Seymour Parkes (FSE legals) and Stephens Scown (ARC Marine legals).
CIOSIF is supported financially by the European Union using funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
For more information about the Cornwall & Isles of Scilly Investment Fund including how to apply, please visit www.ciosif.co.uk or follow the fund on Twitter at @CIOSIFBBB2