Earth Capital backs Ace Aquatec, the welfare-first aquaculture technology company
Date published: Wednesday, 7 June 2023
Ace Aquatec, the award-winning aquaculture technology company which specialises in welfare-first outcomes, has secured an investment from cleantech investor, Earth Capital (“EC”) to grow its current portfolio of products and markets.
EC joins existing investor Aqua Spark, one of the biggest blue growth investment funds, with a shared mission to move the aquaculture industry towards more healthy, sustainable, and affordable production. The group will benefit from EC’s experience and support with Senior Investment Manager, Bradley Jones, joining the Ace Aquatec Board. Wider changes to the board see Chris van der Kuyl CBE (Principal of existing investor, Chroma Ventures) appointed Chair and Nina Santi (Senior Advisor at INAQ AS) joining the board as a non-executive director.
Today, fish provide 17% of the world's protein1 with the world population expected to reach 8.5 billion by 20302. The growing demand for fish through aquaculture has emphasised the importance of responsible farming and targeted investment needed in the sector3. Sustainable production methods, traceability, and animal welfare are also important factors in consumers’ purchasing decisions. Ace Aquatec is a crucial technological link in a chain of improvement that can help make aquaculture more sustainable.
The Dundee-based supplier of global aquaculture solutions has raised over £10m since its series A investment with Aqua Spark and Chroma Ventures. Ace Aquatec has already shown strong growth in key markets including the UK, Europe, Canada, South America, and South East Asia and will use this additional capital to expand its presence and distributor networks in these markets.
The investment will also enable the acceleration of the firm’s development in innovative aquaculture technology solutions, including its Biomass Camera which has recently started production following successful trials. This underwater camera is designed to detect and quantify fish biomass automatically. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) to produce accurate, real-time data on a range of fish species populations and distributions. It will also provide a boost in recruitment, with jobs expected to be created including Engineering, Software, and Sales support roles in Dundee and Chile.
Bradley Jones, Senior Investment Manager of Earth Capital said: “We are excited to be partnering with Ace Aquatec, a key player in the aquaculture industry, on the next stage of its development journey. Championing sustainable practices and setting high welfare standards paves the way to ensuring that seafood farming becomes one of the biggest opportunities to responsibly feed a growing population. Sustainable farming aligns perfectly with Earth Capital's mission to advance technology within the energy, food, and water sectors while driving towards a net-zero future."
Nathan Pyne-Carter, CEO of Ace Aquatec, said: "Earth Capital shares our outlook and passions – namely, the critical importance of technology to drive sustainable food production. Together we can tackle one of the world’s most pressing issues by providing sustainable and responsible protein for a growing world population. The team’s support and expertise will help us scale the business and take another huge step forward in the development of high-welfare products for the global seafood industry. We are also excited to welcome Bradley Jones to our board, whose deep knowledge and strategic insights will be invaluable in guiding our future growth."
Josien Bakker, Investment Manager at Aqua Spark said: “Since our first investment in Ace Aquatec, we’ve known they had the vision to transform the sector by developing products that make fish farming more humane while protecting the environment. We have built a well-known brand, due to the company’s accessibility and scientific evidence, its growth since then is proof that breakthrough technologies are being embraced by farmers, processors, and supermarkets pushing for improved fish welfare across the entire industry. We’re looking forward to partnering with Earth Capital, a fund committed to sustainable technology that will spotlight how much we can do to improve the welfare of fish across the industry.”
Avent Bezuidenhoudt, CEO, and Bradley Jones worked on the deal on behalf of EC with Penelope Garden from Field Seymour Parkes providing legal advice. Peter Savage from Gunnercooke LLP provided legal advice to Ace Aquatec.