A Canadian company is diving deep to help better impact the aquaculture industry.
XpertSea has raised $10 million in a Series A funding round to expand their AI and tech platform and revolutionize aquaculture. The Quebec City company’s round was led by Obvious ventures and Aqua-Spark, with participation from Real Ventures, who also participated in their seed round.
The aquaculture company helps transform how companies around the world farm seafood. XpertSea uses AI and machine learning to aid hatcheries, fish farms and research centres to better track the numbers involved in their aquatic populations with better accuracy and speed.
“This investment will help XpertSea take the guesswork out of aquaculture inventory management, which will drive profits for aquaculture producers and deliver positive environmental returns for our planet,” said Valerie Robitaille, CEO and co-founder of XpertSea. “Precision aquaculture technology is the key to bringing transparency to transactions and standardizing practices across the industry, which benefits everyone along the aquaculture food chain.”
XpertSea’s goal is to help feed the world in a more sustainable fashion. By 2050, the world’s population will exceed 10 billion, and a 70 per cent increase in food production will be necessary. Aquaculture produces more than half of the seafood in the world and is growing at a steady rate each year, but right now companies use antiquated methods like hand-counting organisms. This results in a lot of lost money and time.
Aquaculture producers overspend on feed by an average of 20 per cent, and the survival rate of seafood in these centres can be as low as 50 per cent. XpertSea wants to change these numbers.
Their platform uses AI and computer vision to count and size early-life aquatic organisms like shrimp larvae and live feed. XperCount is an IoT device that attaches to a portal where XpertSea customers can access real-time data and analytics
“The smartest route to excellent aquaculture and healthy fish is reliable data, which has been sorely missing in the industry to date,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “Farmers can’t make accurate judgements, particularly about feed, if they don’t know the number of organisms in the water or distribution size. XpertSea is the first company with a successful product to focus on smaller organisms suitable for hatcheries, which is where the farming process begins.”
The new funding will help XpertSea expand their tech platform and hire new additions both at home in Quebec City and Montreal as well as their international markets. The company has customer sin 48 countries and their platforms have counted more than 17 billion organisms and uploaded over 100,000 counting sessions to the data portal.
XpertSea is a woman-led startup that began in FounderFuel, securing their $1.25 million seed round before they even left the accelerator.