Aquabyte is a San Francisco-based aquaculture startup that seeks to deploy machine learning technology and computer vision to help operators improve fish farming efficiencies and capabilities. Specifically, the system is designed to help decrease fish mortality, reduce operational costs, and minimizing the environmental impact to surround life.
The Aquabyte team is a diverse team comprised of entrepreneurs, machine learning experts and aquaculture biologists. Unlike traditional farm monitoring equipment out on the market today, Aquabyte’s platform provides advanced technology to help make “preemptive decision making.” The system is designed to provide sea lice monitoring and counting, biomass estimations, appetite detection, and further feed optimization solutions. Aside from San Francisco, Aquabyte has offices located in Norway.
The advanced technology aquaculture startup announced it has successfully raised $10 million in a Series A funding round, which was led by New Enterprise Associates (NEA) and Costanoa Ventures. Alaya Capital Partners, Alliance Venture, Struck Capital, and other firms participated in the funding round as well. Aquabyte will use the proceeds to continue product development, expanding employee team, and moving into new markets like Scotland, Canada, and Chile.
Aquabyte Press Release:
SAN FRANCISCO, June 11, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Aquabyte, the aquaculture startup employing computer vision and machine learning software to dramatically improve fish farming efficiency, today announced it has raised $10 Million in Series A funding, co-led by existing investors Costanoa Ventures and New Enterprise Associates, Inc., (NEA), with participation from Alaya Capital Partners, Alliance Venture, Struck Capital, and other angel investors. Aquabyte also adds Chandran Sankaran, founder and CEO of Zyme and Closedloop, as an independent board member.
Fish farming represents the fastest growing food production sector in the world, presently a $240 billion global industry, and Aquabyte believes that now is the time to reduce its cost — both environmental and financial. By arming farms with underwater stereoscopic cameras that determine fish health, size, and optimal feed quantity, Aquabyte’s products aim to reduce fish farm operational cost, decrease fish mortality, and minimize environmental impact on surrounding ecosystems.
Earlier this year, Aquabyte launched general availability in Norway and has begun working with the leading Norwegian salmon and trout farms. To date, more than a petabyte of fish images have been processed and more than 2.5 million fish have been scanned. Through their novel algorithms, they are able to detect the weight of a group of fish within 0.8 percent of the true weight, 95 percent of the time. Aquabyte has also detected more than 100,000 “sea lice,” a minuscule yet deadly parasite that latches onto salmon and has recently plagued the aquaculture industry.
“The success we’ve achieved in just two years has surpassed our expectations,” noted Bryton Shang, Founder and CEO of Aquabyte. “We couldn’t be happier with the difference our technology is already making at the fish farms where it is in use and the enthusiastic support of the farmers and the Norwegian government.”
“NEA has built a deep thesis around computer vision-based technology,” said Amit Mukherjee, Partner at NEA. “We believe that Aquabyte’s computer vision solution for aquaculture is one of the best real-life applications we’ve seen. We are fortunate to have worked with Bryton since Aquabyte’s incubation stage, and are thrilled to continue partnering with the team.”
With the new funds, Aquabyte will accelerate product development by doubling its team and expand into new geographies including Scotland, Canada, and Chile. It will also grow its product line to include estimating fish appetite and quality, predicting sea lice outbreaks, and automating feeding.
“Aquabyte’s solution to a real-world problem is well on its way to transforming an industry,” stated Greg Sands, Founder and Managing Partner of Costanoa Ventures. “It’s rare to see a single company have so much impact this quickly. The team at Aquabyte is demonstrating what it means to lead an industry.”
Aquabyte brings machine learning and computer vision technologies to the aquaculture industry to improve fish farming efficiency. Its diverse team of machine learning experts, entrepreneurs, and aquaculture biologists are focused on delivering solutions with a real-world impact. With offices in San Francisco and Norway, Aquabyte is backed by Costanoa Ventures and New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA) and is currently hiring. To learn more, please visit www.aquabyte.ai.