Quebec City-based XpertSea has raised a $10 million Series A to support its aquaculture solution.
The funding is a co-investment led by Obvious Ventures and Aqua-Spark, and includes Real Ventures, which previously invested in the company’s seed round. The company said that currently, the aquaculture industry relies on hand-counting of aquatic organisms, which results in major financial losses and waste as aquaculture producers overspend by an average of 20 percent in feed, and seafood survival rates can be as low as 50 percent.
“Precision aquaculture technology is the key to bringing transparency to transactions and standardizing practices across the industry.”
XpertSea’s platform uses AI and computer vision to count and size early-stage aquatic organisms such as shrimp larvae and live feed. Its XpertCount IoT device connects to a portal where customers can access data and analytics from any device.
As of 2017, XpertSea’s customers in 48 countries have counted more than 17 billion organisms and uploaded over 100,000 counting sessions to the data portal.
“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 plans to use the funding to build its team and expand its product offerings. The company is currently hiring for positions in Quebec City, Montreal, and in its international markets.
“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. Aqua-Spark takes an industry-wide approach, meaning we invest across the value chain. XpertSea is the first company with a successful product to focus on smaller organisms suitable for hatcheries, which is where the farming process begins. Their ability to solve production challenges in aquaculture is limitless and makes them a key value-add for our portfolio.”