Data analytics company lands $7 million investment

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Ecto has raised $7 million in financing. The company says its analytics platform can reduce preventable losses by connecting disparate data.

Ecto, a company that claims its analytics platform can reduce preventable losses by connecting disparate data to reveal patterns previously invisible to fish farmers, has been developing infrastructure to break down data silos and thus make farming more predictable and sustainable.

Ecto’s platform uses producers’ multi-generational data to automatically build models for the early detection of patterns associated with biological risks.

The company grew out of a project for low temperature preservation technology for salmon eggs. By 2018, the firm – which was then called Cryoocyte – was handling nearly 10 per cent of all Atlantic salmon eggs produced globally for grow-out.

Data from dozens of sources
“By connecting disparate data, we’re discovering patterns previously invisible to producers,” said Gary Livshin, company CTO, in a press release. “For example, we have discovered that the concentration of ash in feed is strongly correlated with high mortality at a specific growth stage of fish. This information can be used by producers for purchasing decisions that can also be monitored.”

As Ecto infrastructure grows, more patterns can be discovered and predictions should become more accurate. “We’re using data from dozens of sources – such as water quality labs, feeding equipment and sensors – to build models leveraging more than almost a decade of historical data,” comments CEO, Dmitry Kozachenok.

“One of our predictive models successfully provided early alerts for algae-related mortality outbreaks last summer for a salmon farming company. It proved that predictions work.”

Seventure Partners also participated in the latest round, joined by existing investors Yield Lab and Vodia Ventures. Ecto plans to use the investment to advance in the market for digital decision support tools for aquaculture.

‘The majority of industry data is locked in spreadsheets’
“The future of sustainable aquaculture is in data and analytics to reduce preventable issues and human error,” says Kozachenok. “Over the past 15 years the industry has seen a lot of innovation in hardware, sensors, vaccines, genetics and feed engineering, but the majority of industry data is locked on paper, spreadsheets, and disparate software systems. Our goal is to build analytical connective tissue between all parts of production to drive evidence-based insights that improve habitat welfare, reduce economic losses for producers, and further advance the sustainability profile of the industry.”

Livshin, a veteran software executive, added: “Aquaculture today is where banking software was 20 years ago — large companies are debating build versus buy decisions with integrations and interoperability still in their infancy.”

“We’re very glad to support Ecto in bringing cutting-edge software to the aquaculture industry. Sustainable protein is one of the key challenges for the global 21st century food supply and we believe aquaculture will play a huge role in that story” added Kieran Furlong, Venture Partner at Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund, who has joined Ecto’s Board of Directors.