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Exclusive: Fish farming AI startup nets $8M round

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Jan 11, 2023
Illustration of a fishing pole with $100 bill.

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

ReelData AI, a Halifax, Nova Scotia-based data software startup, raised $8 million in Series A funding, the company exclusively tells Axios.

Why it matters: The round highlights investor interest in the aquaculture space, a business area tied to ag tech but more niche and, in some cases, more complex than typical farm innovations.

Details: Buoyant Ventures led the all-equity round and will take a board seat as part of the deal. S2G Ventures and The Nest Family Office also participated in the round.

How it works: ReelData AI makes software for land-based salmon farms to help farm operators analyze and adjust processes, which tend to be more complex than farms located on a body of water.

  • Its first software product analyzes fishes' eating habits and recommends changes in feeding schedules and amounts as needed.
  • The company is also working on a camera that can identify and weigh individual fish, CEO Mathew Zimola said in an interview.
  • "If you compare aquaculture to traditional agriculture, in agriculture you can walk up to plants or a cow and inspect it or see how they are feeding. In a fish farm, the farm, the cages and the tanks are a black box, so it's hard to understand what's happening underwater," Zimola says.
  • ReelData AI currently is working with salmon farmers in Norway, Iceland, Denmark and the United States
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