The injection of fresh capital follows the success of XpertSea’s data-driven marketplace, which has fuelled year-on-year growth of over 1000 percent in company revenues. XpertSea will use the new funding to accelerate its movement into new markets and expand its financial services and new product development. The company is also currently hiring for positions in Toronto, Quebec City and its international markets.
The new investment round was led by QED Investors and Atlantico, with Investissement Quebec joining previous investors Obvious Ventures, Aqua-Spark*, Future Shape, Real Ventures and edō Capital. QED partner Lauren Morton will join XpertSea’s board, resulting in both an executive team and a board where women are in the majority.
By 2050 the planet will need 70 percent more food production to feed 10 billion people. Aquaculture represents one of the most efficient and sustainable ways to supply that quality protein, according to XpertSea, but technology gaps and the lack of financial services to underbanked farmers are major barriers to growth.
The company solves these problems with the first data-driven marketplace that uses AI and financial services to connect shrimp farmers with a network of vetted buyers and ensure same day payment. Using their phone’s camera and XpertSea’s smartphone app, farmers can capture reliable crop data, transact with buyers and receive payment within 24 hours of harvest, which improves their cash flow, de-risks their business and unlocks growth.
“We founded XpertSea with the firm belief that technology and data will unlock aquaculture’s enormous potential to be the most sustainable source of protein available to feed our planet. For years, we worked towards this mission by helping farmers farm more successfully, and more recently by providing them access to cash flow and market opportunities,” said Valerie Robitaille, CEO of XpertSea. “This investment will not only help accelerate the development of our data driven solutions, but will allow us to leverage our unique capabilities to bring transparency and efficiency to the entire supply chain, getting us closer and closer to providing sustainable seafood for everyone.”
“XpertSea has all the key ingredients we look for in a world-class fintech: a sticky customer acquisition strategy, valuable proprietary data for underwriting, and the ability to sit at the center of complex transactions that are fraught with friction today,” said QED Partner and XpertSea board member Lauren Morton. “The aquaculture industry is undergoing a massive disruption right now, and XpertSea has the technology and financial solutions to be a leader in this change.”
"XpertSea is building a better future for aquaculture producers and seafood consumers, and we are excited to join them and support them as they solidify their position as global industry leaders," said Atlantico managing partner, Julio Vasconcellos. "Their ability to leverage advanced computer vision and machine learning to enable a compelling vision of a sustainable future is inspiring."
“Family-run shrimp farms lose 50 percent of their crop to disease, only 10 percent of farmers can get loans, and they are constantly at the mercy of price fluctuations and delayed payments by big buyers,” said Tony Fadell, principal at Future Shape. “Shrimp farming alone is a $30 billion industry! XpertSea’s powerful AI tools deliver healthier crops and certified forecasts of shrimp quality and quantity. That same data fuels XpertSea’s marketplace to connect farmers, buyers, and distributors. It’s a win-win-win for the rapidly growing $250 billion aquaculture industry."
*Hatch is part of Aqua-Spark's investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence