AKVA buys 100 percent of AI feeding solutions firm Observe Technologies

A screenshot from Observe Technologies' AI-enhanced aquaculture feeding software.
2 Min

AKVA has purchased 100 percent of the shares of Richmond, U.K.-based Observe Technologies, a developer of artificial intelligence-enhanced aquaculture feeding solutions.

Akva previously owned 33.7 percent of Observe, and the two firms have engaged in a longtime partnership to develop and sell AI feeding solutions to more than 100 farm sites worldwide, according to a 5 July statement issued the companies. The takeover is intended to further strengthen and complement AKVA’s digital capabilities, according to AKVA CEO Knut Nesse.

“The acquisition of 100 percent shares in Observe is of great strategic importance to AKVA and will further develop and complement our digital offerings to the market,” Nesse said. “AKVA now offers four digital products to the market: AKVA Fishtalk, AKVA Observe, AKVA Connect, AKVA Submerged. By combining these products, we now offer a complete digital solution to enhance precision fish farming.”   

AKVA said the purchase price for the remaining 66.3 percent of the company will be a minimum of GBP 13.7 million (USD 17.5 million, EUR 16.2 million) – paid by both cash via existing bank financing and a sellers’ credit that will be settled in installments to be paid over the next three years. An additional earn-out consideration could bring the maximum purchase price to GBP 20.5 million (USD 26.2 million, EUR 24.2 million).

Observe has created software that aggregates all data streams at aquaculture sites and sorts through the information to extract the most relevant details. Its software, which can be operated remotely, can alert farming companies about problems or abnormalities, and can guide them as to when to increase or decrease feeding to optimize feed-conversion ratios.

“This is a unique opportunity to be a key offering in AKVA’s precision farming solution while giving us the operational flexibility to continue to develop the business,” Observe Technologies CEO Hemang Rishi CTO Pieter Fabry said in a joint statement. “We firmly believe AKVA’s approach, combined with operational gains we have already provided, will drive the industry towards even more sustainable outcomes.”

In an interview with SeafoodSource at the 2024 Seafood Expo Global, Nesse expressed confidence technology will produce rapid gains for the global aquaculture sector.

“With smart farming in a land-based facility, you need more data collection, you need more sensors in order to collect data, and you need to have this data transformed onto supporting tools. You need big dashboards with all kinds of alert systems and monitoring systems so the operator will have more support in running a more complex recirculating aquaculture system [RAS] technology plant,” he said. “I think that needs to be developed.”

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