Digital Aquaculture Innovator Ecto Raises $7M in Series A Round from Rabobank and Aqua-Spark

Aquaculture data analytics disrupter Ecto has raised $7 million in financing led by the Rabo Food & Agri Innovation Fund and Aqua-Spark. New investor Seventure Partners also participated in the round, joined by existing investors Yield Lab and Vodia Ventures. Ecto plans to use the investment to advance its leading position in the market for digital decision support tools for aquaculture, the fastest growing animal protein industry.

Information source: Ecto / media release

Aquaculture is a $264 billion industry providing highly nutritious and sustainable protein serving as the main protein source for three out seven consumers globally. Industry growth has in recent times been limited by regulation, leaving only performance optimization as a means to meet growing demand. Ecto aims to pioneer structured data capture across the industry to enable producers to use aquaculture industry data to make production more efficient and sustainable.

Ecto’s digital infrastructure supports deep integrations with over 100 data sources throughout the aquaculture value chain. Ecto’s platform uses multi-generational data that producers already have to automatically build models for the early detection of patterns associated with bio risks. The software covers multiple environmental factors in all key phases of production affecting fish welfare and development, including hatchery, well-boat and truck transport, grow-out, and processing phases. Highly granular parameters related to individual populations and sites are used to generate more accurate performance forecasts than ever before possible.

“The future of sustainable aquaculture is in data and analytics to reduce preventable issues and human error” says Ecto CEO and Co-Founder Dmitry 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.” Ecto CTO Gary Livshin, a veteran software executive, commented further: “Aquaculture today is where banking software was 20 years ago — large companies are debating build vs. buy decisions with integrations and interoperability still in their infancy.”

“Ecto provides the aquaculture industry the long-awaited data platform enabling cost reductions and risk mitigation previously not possible,” says Gorjan Nikolik, Rabobank Senior Global Seafood Analyst. “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.

“We’re excited to be a part of the progress Ecto is making to improve aquaculture with the power of technology,” announced Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, Managing Partners of Aqua-Spark. “We believe sustainable farming requires rigorous management practices. Ecto’s decision support platform will increase output, reduce environmental degradation, improve animal welfare, and increase transparency and traceability in the supply chain.”

“The platform developed by Ecto will develop a robust data infrastructure for aquaculture that will enable producers to monitor, analyze, and optimize their operations for revenue growth” adds Laëtitia Gerbe, Partner at Seventure Partners. “Ecto has the potential of a game changer for aquaculture as a sustainable global protein supply and we’re very enthusiastic about partnering with such a company and supporting its growth.”

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