Private equity firm Bluefront Equity has become the majority owner of Alta, Norway-based Seacloud, a provider of cloud-based software and sensor technology for analysis and utilization of management data for commercial aquaculture operators.
Bluefront Equity is a private equity fund with a focus on the sustainable seafood value chain. It has previously invested in three other seafood-focused companies. In a press release, Bluefront Partner Kjetil Haga said Seacloud’s business focus of digitalization and automatization of the aquaculture industry aligned with the fund’s goals.
“There is an almost incomprehensibly large and continuously increasing amount of sensor data in the seafood industry. Seacloud aggregates the data that the different sensors capture and converts it into meaningful information, which in turn forms the basis for making smart operational decisions. Haga said. “The company is a catalyst for digitalization and streamlining of the seafood industry.”
Haga did not disclose the amount paid by Bluefront for its 51 percent share of Seacloud. It said the investment came through a combination of purchase of shares from current Seacloud shareholders and a NOK 20 million capital injection (USD 2 million, EUR 1.9 million) to finance further Seacloud’s growth both in Norway and internationally.
“We provide financing that will contribute towards the continuous development of Seacloud’s software platform, to the benefit of customers, plus continued growth and increased presence closer to customers in both Norway and abroad,” Haga said.
Seacloud has 14 employees, with offices in Alta, Tromsø, and Trondheim. Seacloud had revenues of NOK 14 million (USD 1.4 million, EUR 1.3 million) in 2021, but enters 2023 with annual recurring revenues of approximately NOK 20 million (USD 2 million, EUR 1.9 million), according to Bluefront. All five current owners of Seacloud remain shareholders in the company, among them Jørn-Roar Pedersen, who founded Seacloud in 2016.
“There is huge potential in this data, especially when it is put into context. This is exactly what Seacloud does on behalf of fish farmers, shipowners, and others. We aggregate and make the data available in order to enable more efficient operations, reduce operating costs, reduce impact on the local environment, protect biomass, reduce CO2 emissions, and prevent equipment breakdowns,” Pedersen said.
Seacloud sells sensor technologies and owns proprietary software that can communicate with all types of sensors, irrespective of type of equipment and the end-user. Among the sensors that Seacloud offers and connects to its cloud-based software are environmental stations that provide a complete overview of the ocean environment, weather stations that provide information about weather, wind, currents, and wave height, level measurement of all types of tanks and silos, and pH measurement of silage. Seacloud also offers complete vessel integration that provides shipowners and fish farming companies with full overview of all vessels plus engine and vessel data, according to Bluefront.
“All current owners believe strongly in what we are aiming to achieve and therefore wanted to remain shareholders. We like Bluefront Equity’s approach of co-owning and developing the company in collaboration with current management and owners. They want to be in the same boat as us, and that is important to us,” Seacloud Director Jens-Harald Jenssen said.
Bluefront Equity’s conducts the investment in Seacloud through Bluefront Capital I, an Article 8 fund, which was set in line with the European Union’s’s comprehensive taxonomy guidelines, Haga said. As part of the investment, Bluefront has obtained three seats on Seacloud’s board of directors, and Haga will assume one of those positions.
“We have so far only seen the tip of the iceberg of how sensor data can be applied as a valuable management tool for the fish- farming industry, and we know that Seacloud’s technology can contribute towards huge savings,” Haga said. “The aggregated data is also becoming increasingly important with regards to meeting higher demand for sustainability improvements and reporting.”
Photo courtesy of Seacloud