Aquaculture for all

Aquabyte raises $25 million

Atlantic Salmon Trout Health +10 more

Aquabyte, which uses computer vision and AI to give fish farmers detailed insights into the health, growth and sustainability of their fish, has raised $25 million.

Aquabyte's technology has uses including counting sea lice

The startup says that seven of the top ten salmon farming companies in the world now use its technology © Aquabyte

The Series B round was led by SoftBank Ventures Asia and means that the startup has now raised a total of $46 million since it was founded in 2017. Aquabyte will use this financing to scale its business, monitoring more species in more countries, to help fish farms sustainably and efficiently feed the world.

Aquabyte has built international, cross-disciplinary teams working at the intersection of fish welfare, AI, and groundbreaking engineering, using best practices drawn from world-renowned salmon farms in Norway.

“Before Aquabyte, it was virtually impossible for fish farms to monitor the health of their underwater fish. Our engineering team solved that problem with a smart underwater camera that can accurately detect lice, monitor other welfare indicators, and identify and weigh individual fish without removing them from the water,” said Bryton Shang, Aquabyte’s founder and CEO, in a press release.

“Our fish welfare biologists work with our AI teams to transform those images and underwater signals into real-time data. We also partner with farms to give them insights they’ve never had before, which helps them make better decisions. Farms can take immediate action to improve the health and growth of their fish with less waste and fewer treatments,” Shang added.

Sherman Li, partner at SoftBank Ventures Asia, noted that Aquabyte’s approach, team, and results played a key role in its investment.

“By combining machine learning and computer vision with fish welfare insights, Aquabyte is leading a transformation in the aquaculture and food industry. We are proud to support their journey as their achievements align with our mission of helping build a sustainable future, globally,” he said.

The Nature Conservancy (through its Office of Investments) and Westerly Winds also joined the round as new investors, along with an international celebrity who prefers not to be named.

Karim Abdel-Ghaffar Plaza, managing partner at Westerly Winds, a venture capital group founded by former BlackRock executives, said: “We firmly believe embracing technology is the solution for a more sustainable future. Aquabyte in our opinion is a clear leader, enabling the path towards a healthier aquaculture industry needed to feed the growing world population. We’re tremendously excited to be backing the team and business in the years to come.”

Original investors New Enterprise Associates (NEA), Costanoa Ventures, ArcTern Ventures, Struck Capital, and Alliance Venture participated in the round, pointing to Aquabyte’s achievements since its Series A funding in 2019, which include:

  • Hundreds of systems worldwide monitoring salmon and trout
  • Established offices in USA, Norway, and Chile
  • Processed over 300 million unique fish images, delivering lice counts, growth, weight, and other welfare indicators, without handling or harming the fish
  • First to receive approval by dispensation for automatic sea lice counting by the Norwegian Food Safety Authorities

“Since our first seed investment in Aquabyte, we’ve known they had the vision to transform an industry and do aquafarming more sustainably,” said Greg Sands, founder and managing partner of Costanoa Ventures. “Their growth since then is proof their vision provides real value to an entire industry and is helping transform it.”

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