TeamABC, a €30 million Dublin-headquartered travel tech fund, has made its second investment, backing Coral Vita, a company that recently won £1 million from Prince William's Earthshot Prize competition.
Founded by Gator Halpern and Sam Teicher, Coral Vita is working to restore the world's dying and damaged reefs, which are relied upon by more than 500 million people globally for food and income.
Headquartered in the Bahamas, the company is focused on created high-tech coral farms that incorporate breakthrough methods to restore reefs in the most effective way possible.
The company’s founders were previously awarded Yale’s first-ever Green Innovation Fellowship and have been recognised in Forbes’ prestigious “30 under 30” list of Europe’s leading young innovators, entrepreneurs and leaders.
Speaking to The Irish Times about the investment, general partner Clyde Hutchison said the venture capital fund is also near to closing more deals.
“Coral Vita, is one of most promising commercial coastal habitat innovators globally using world class science and local community engagement to enable future generations of tourist to see the wonders of coral reefs and wildlife which live” say, he said.
Since 1970, more than 30 per cent of the world’s coral reefs have died and, in the coming decades, experts estimate more than 90 per cent could disappear. In addition to supporting millions of livelihoods for those living nearby, coral reefs sustain a quarter of all marine life.
TeamABC has been established by Mr Hutchison and two other partners who, between them, have decades of experience working for airlines and/or are experienced investors and start-up experts.
They include Aurelius Noell, formerly chief commercial officer at IAG's low-cost carrier Level and at Viva Air, the Latin America-focused airline established by Declan Ryan, the son of Ryanair founder Tony Ryan.
Another co-founder is Brian Marrinan, who played a key role in establishing the State's first start-up accelerator programme, NDRC. He also co-led Propeller Shannon, a start-up accelerator for aviation, travel tech and drone innovators, along with Mr Hutchison, who previously founded Viva Air Labs, Latin America's first innovation hub for aviation in Medellín, Colombia.
Headquartered in Dublin and with offices in Vienna, Dubai and Mexico City, TeamABC made its first investment in May, backing Yeildin, a French airline revenue management-focused start-up.
Dr Hutchison, said the fund, which is looking to back start-ups focused on sustainability and transformation, is eying possible investments in a number of Irish companies.