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Chicoa is a Tilapia fish farm in Cahora Bassa, in Tete province, Mozambique [ File photo: Courtesy of Chicoa Fish Farm]
Mozambique-based startup, Chicoa Fish Farm, has secured $1.5-million in Series A funding from Goodwell Investments.
The funding will be utilised to assist Chicoa Fish Farm in developing and growing its existing business model inclusive of the processing and distribution of frozen tilapia products.
The much-needed funding will be used to include local-small scale fish farmers within the startup’s model, extend product facilities, and towards the installation of a new processing plant.
Dhanyal Davidson, Senior Investment Associate at Goodwell Investments explains that the partnership between Goodwell and Chicoa Fish Farm will develop the aquaculture sector in Southern Africa.
“Chicoa’s significant traction achieved to date coupled with our visit to the farm in Tete solidified our confidence in the company and its potential. The company is driven by an experienced team with deep roots in aquaculture and Southern Africa, and we look forward to supporting Chicoa to fulfil its potential. Aquaculture is a new area to Goodwell Investments, and we are especially pleased to be joining the table with like-minded investors who bring along a wealth of knowledge in the aquaculture space.”
Founded in 2017, Chicoa Fish Farm was established by Gerard McCollum and Damien Legros. The startup’s business model aims to address the lack of affordable protein in Southern African with the sustainable aquaculture production of tilapia.
Tilapia are mainly freshwater fish that play a major role in artisanal fishing in Africa. Chicoa Fish Farm is reported to produce more than 5 000 tons of tilapia per year which result in over $10-million of income into the local economy.
The startup has established a breeding programme, developed sales and distribution channels in South Africa, Zambia, Malawi, and Mozambique.
In an aim to foster a social impact, Chicoa Fish Farm assists with increasing the income of local fish farmers across Southern Africa.
Through growth, Chicoa aims to merge upstream, local supply of ingredients, and downstream to allow distribution and retail. In addition, Chicoa ensures sustainability by connecting smaller farms to tilapia breeding techniques to decrease reliance on marine products globally.
Gerry McCollum, CEO of Chicoa Fish Farm explains that the expertise of Goodwell will benefit the farming industry in Mozambique.
“We are delighted that Goodwell has joined us on this really exciting journey to develop fish farming as an industry in Mozambique. Being a first-mover is really challenging, but also hugely impactful. Not only do Goodwell bring a wealth of experience to the table, but their philosophy of supporting transformative businesses in areas of most need makes them a perfect partner for us.”
Africa and Mozambique lack food security as almost 80% of the population cannot obtain an adequate diet as it is unaffordable. Despite Africa having the capability to feed the population, many countries are net food exporters. Mozambique doubles the value of fish imports to exports and the regional aquaculture businesses meet the fish demand by only six percent across the Southern Africa region.
Overfishing is a challenge as well as climate change and with that aquaculture provides a stable fish supply without extending past the maximum sustainable yields.
Chicoa Fish Farm, the largest commercial provider of fish in Mozambique aims to accelerate the aquaculture industry and provide affordable, high-quality fish by increasing yields to offer a sustainable protein source and monitoring import substitution.