DNB seafood boss: “It used to be the bigger the better. Today as a company you need to do things differently”

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According to DNB, the worlds largest seafood bank the investment market has changed. It used to be the greater the company the more interest in investment. Today Global Head of Seafood at DNB sees that the real magic happens when small and large companies work together.

“It used to be the bigger the better. Today as a company you need to do things differently and in an innovative way. It is not easy for new companies to raise capital. We see that when small and large companies work together magic happens. In this way, they are more innovative. As we have seen today with Mowi, these type of operations are the way to go,” says Anne Hvistendahl, Global Head of Seafood, DNB on the first day of the North Atlantic Seafood Forum in Bergen.

Hvistendahl points to Mowi who have today announced the collaboration with Alphabet on a new AI sensing system.

Read also: For three years, Mowi has secretly been working on a new AI sensing system developed by Google’s parent company Alphabet

According to Hvistendahl, it is difficult today for new companies to raise capital in the seafood sector as there are many competitors and productivity in the farming industry has dropped during the last ten years, both when it comes to amouts of fish and capital, when you look at how much work has put into the company. So it is important for new firms to stand out.

“We have about 6000 meetings a year with startup companies. This is why we have made this toolbox for startups and scale-ups to know, what we are looking for before investing,” says Hvistendahl.

DNB toolbox for start-up and scale-ups. Photo: Katrina Poulsen

DNBs toolbox contains the following:

“This toolbox consists of equity (industrial or financial players), crowdfunding, growth guarantee (from Innovation Norway), GIEK, trade finance (when the fish is sold, it helps) and growth loans,” she says.

Hvistendahl furthermore explains that the company arrange several matchmaking events, where the start-ups can be paired up and in this way hopefully easier get funding. In each event, there are about 1.000 participants present.

Hvistendahl still sees great potential in the industry, as there is according to DNB great growth potential.

“This is still a young industry and therefore we have to keep doing things in new innovative ways.”