Aquaculture software firm Ecto nabs investments from Rabobank, Aqua-Spark

An employee in Chile uses Ecto. The product uses machine learning algorithms to help connect hundreds of points of data and improve decision making in aquaculture.

Atlanta, Georgia, U.S.A.-based Ecto, the creator of software to enable improvements in aquaculture operations, has announced a successful Series A funding round of USD 7 million (EUR 6 million).

The funding round was backed by Rabobank’s Venture Fund, along with Seventure Partners and Aqua-Spark, who joined existing investors Yield Lab and Vodia Ventures. The funding will be used to advance its position in the market, according to Ecto CEO and Co-Founder Dmitry Kozachenok.

Kozachenok said the new software is a “digital decision support platform” that uses machine-learning algorithms with science-based biological insights to “enable producers to use aquaculture industry data to make production more efficient and sustainable.”

“By connecting disparate data, our platform has the ability to discover patterns previously invisible to producers and reduce preventable losses, thereby increasing output without putting any new fish in the water,” Kozachenok said. “For example, our algorithms discovered that the concentration of ash in feed is strongly correlated with high mortality at a specific growth stage of fish.”

Ecto allows integrations of over 100 data sources throughout the aquaculture value-chain, allowing the software to cover multiple environmental factors in key phases of fish production.

“The future of sustainable aquaculture is in data and analytics to reduce preventable issues and human error” Kozachenok said. “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."

Aqua-Spark managing partners Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz said Ecto’s data-driven approach to improving aquaculture management fits the investment firm’s vision of the future sustainable aquaculture.

“We’re excited to be a part of the progress Ecto is making to improve aquaculture with the power of technology,” Velings and Novogratz said. “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.”

Ecto was launched in 2013, and has been awarded grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Science Foundation.  

Photo courtesy of Ecto


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