In 2017, Aquabyte was an idea and a prototype. The prototype was a camera powered by AI and Machine Learning, to capture and analyze images of underwater fish.
And by “underwater,” I mean that I tested that prototype in my bathtub. But it worked.
The idea was to help fish farms not only see the life and conditions beneath the surface, but analyze those images to get relevant, critical information they’d never had before. To help fish farms sustainably and efficiently meet the world’s growing demand for protein.
Today, Aquabyte is an international company built at the intersection of aquaculture biology, engineering, and AI, working as partners to fish farms around the world.
Our smart camera and fish welfare platform, installed at seven of the global top ten fish farms, is a single, all-in-one system in the pen that understands everything about fish health, weight, and the underwater environment. Aquabyte is helping those farms reduce waste, improve the welfare, health, and growth of their fish, protect local waters, and even reduce greenhouse gas emissions by enabling data-driven smart farming – helping grow more healthy fish faster. I imagine we’ll look back and wonder – how did we ever grow the fish without knowing basic information about the fish’s growth, health, and environment?
For us, the “intersection” is important. We’re not just technology dropped into a pen, or algorithms and images on a screen. We are true partners because we believe in working with the people that make everyday fish farms run. We believe in informing critical decision making at the pen by working with people throughout the fish value chain. Each part of the Aquabyte organization has a key role: engineering improves through input from fish biology, and the reverse is true as well. Connections across departments allow us to collaborate as One Team to deliver a relatively complex product in a way that is simple and authentic.
We have learned along the way, too. Not just about challenging environmental conditions, how to advance regulatory policy, or how to show the Amazon CTO around a fish farm (if you haven’t seen the TV episode, it’s here), but most importantly how to work as a cohesive international team from Day 1.
So today, five years since that initial prototype in my San Francisco bathtub, I am proud and grateful to announce that we have completed our Series B funding. I am grateful for the commitment of SoftBank Ventures Asia, The Nature Conservancy, Westerly Winds, New Enterprise Associates, Costanoa Ventures, ArcTern Ventures, Alliance Venture, and Struck Capital who are joining us as investors, friends, and true partners.
I am extremely proud of the efforts of the entire team through all of the challenges along the way—advisors, investors, employees, interns, contractors—and for continuing to believe in Aquabyte’s mission to transform aquaculture to meet the world’s demand for sustainable protein. Thank you!
We’re just at the beginning of enabling radically better fish farming. Thank you all for being part of it.