Aqua-Spark, the Dutch investment fund focused exclusively on sustainable aquaculture, has announced its investment in the Norwegian IoT AgTech company, CageEye.
The Oslo-based company, Cage Eye, aims to improve the feed process by monitoring the behaviour of the salmon. With the funds, CageEye will invest in R&D, grow its team and expand its customer support network.
CageEye is known for its echo-sounder technology – which uses acoustic data and machine learning to measure and analyse biomass movements. This enables farmers to make informed decisions about the welfare of their fish, and automate and optimise common procedures, such as feeding.
The current iteration of CageEye’s echo-sounder is focused on improving the salmon industry’s feeding practices, as feed is the single biggest cost input for any aquaculture operation. Inexact feeding regimes result in over or under feeding, which leads to: significant feed losses, higher Feed Conversion Ratios, and slower growth. Even though the Norwegian Salmon industry has some of the most advanced feeding practices, there is still a significant potential for improvement.
Long-term, CageEye aims for its innovations to reach more species and the aquaculture industry at-large.
“Current market practice is to use optical underwater cameras, which cover a very limited field of view and lead to highly subjective decisions,” explains Bendik S. Søvegjarto, CEO of CageEye. “Our acoustical system covers the whole feeding zone and makes consistent decisions meal after meal, which improve as we continue to train our models on growing datasets of salmon behavior and accompanying feed operator decisions.”
“Improving feed and addressing feed loss have been a priority within our portfolio from Aqua-Spark’s inception, as it’s the greatest challenge for any fish farm,” said Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, co-founders of Aqua-Spark. “With CageEye, we’re able to support improvements in cage farm management, including how feed is distributed. Beyond this, we’re excited to see how their behavior assessment technology will impact other areas of farming as the company matures.”
In July, the London-based, Breed Reply, invested in the IoT AgTech platform.
Thus far, Aqua-Spark has EUR 49,2 million under management, dedicated to investments in elements of the aquaculture industry that will make fish farming sustainable. The goal of the fund is to grow to EUR 1,5 billion by 2025.