Arksen – One to Watch

Arksen is ‘One to Watch’ as one of the most innovative and impactful companies of 2019 at the Growth Investor Awards.

Arksen is a leading example of an innovative British business that is empowering investors to address a major global challenge whilst seeking competitive returns. In developing a series of semi-autonomous ocean-going vessels that are capable of reaching some of the ocean’s most extreme and challenging environments, Arksen’s mission is to support the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goal No.14 “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development”.

Just 10 months after launching the company, Arksen has already been recognised for its impact, influence and investor potential by being named ‘One to Watch’ for the ‘UK’s Most Impactful Investment’ at the 2019 Intelligent Partnership Growth Investor Awards.

Success Attributed to Funding Partner

The success of Arksen to date can be largely attributed to its major funding partner Vala Capital, itself recognised as an ‘Industry Rising Star’ at the Awards and finalist for ‘Industry Game Changer’. Vala is an investment firm led by entrepreneurs that take a long-term view, fully integrating sustainability research and insights into a rigorous framework of traditional financial analysis while aligning incentives with the interests of investors. Indeed, Vala believes that achieving the Sustainable Development Goals is key to long-term business growth and that strong sustainability is linked to strong investor returns.

Vala understood that the opportunity to back such a progressive company in Arksen would move the ocean agenda forward and would encourage change throughout the industry whilst creating the opportunity for attractive and sustainable capital returns. Certainly, with an order book for the vessels gathering momentum, this strategy appears to be welcomed by those in the private sector who wish to invest as a tool for change.

Innovative ownership programme

Whilst the Arksen vessels are multi-purpose to allow for both leisure and commercial activities to be pursued, the company employs an innovative ownership programme that mandates owners to donate a proportion of time at sea to scientific research. The Arksen Foundation is a non-profit company that actively contributes to research programs to support the identification of new species as well as the preservation of existing ones.  Alongside this sits the Arksen Explorers’ Club, which curates off grid expeditions for the Arksen fleet and its owners.

Speaking of becoming the ‘One to Watch’, Arksen Founder Jasper Smith said:  

“The marine industry is at a turning point. Traditionally, investors have avoided the sector because it has had limited scale. But with the mobility revolution fully underway, unprecedented demand for access to the oceans and a thriving market for new vessels and new technologies, this environment enables us to create recurring revenue.

“It’s great to be recognised for our vision to ‘do good’ as well as to target attractive financial returns. Sustainability and technology are at the core of the Arksen mission and by reinventing the modern explorer vessel, we are empowering a new generation of sailor, explorer, adventurer and scientist to develop a more profound understanding of our oceans. We expect to operate the world’s largest private fleet of research vessels within a few years.

“This recognition highlights that sustainable business can, and should be, aligned with investor prospects and growth.  As we bring our other products on line we hope to offer everyone who is passionate about the ocean the very best tools to access it and in a manner that is consistent with our transition to a low carbon society.”

James Faulkner of Vala Capital said “we are proud to have been recognised for our investment strategy which includes placing a strong emphasis on ESG and sustainable development. Arksen is at the forefront of a revolution in the marine sector and we believe that the company will become a major brand within it over the next few years”. 

The Growth Investor Awards

The Growth Investor Awards enlisted a two-stage judging process ensuring credibility to the esteemed honours. Stage one saw finalists selected under the guidance of an impressive Advisory Board before category winners are chosen by a panel of independent judges. 

“The Growth Investor Awards have rightly become a landmark event in the calendars of the UK’s SME investment community. For one evening each year we celebrate the inspiring individuals and leading organisations whose talents and commitment helps UK entrepreneurs to power Britain’s economic growth”, said Guy Tolhurst, Managing Director of Intelligent Partnership.

He continued, “To be awarded the ‘One to Watch’ in such a competitive field of entrants is a huge achievement.”

The awards ceremony took place on Wednesday 6 November 2019 at the Royal Lancaster Hotel, London.

For more information about the awards, visit

The Arksen team will be at the boot Düsseldorf Boat Show, stand 7aB24 this January. To arrange a meeting, contact

Discover the full Arksen range of vessels here >>

Find out more about the Arksen Explorer’s Club >>