4J Studios’ Van der Kuyl and Burns invest in aquaculture specialist

Scottish video game entrepreneurs Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns have invested in Dundee-based Ace Aquatec.
Van der Kuyl (left) and Pyne-Carter. Picture: Stewart Attwood.Van der Kuyl (left) and Pyne-Carter. Picture: Stewart Attwood.
Van der Kuyl (left) and Pyne-Carter. Picture: Stewart Attwood.

The aquaculture technology specialist, which was founded in 1999, develops acoustic deterrent devices and electric stunners used by fish farm operators in the UK and globally. It is a double Queen’s Award for Enterprise winner and customers include Scottish Sea Farms and Loch Duart.

The investment by the tech duo who run game-development group 4J Studios, best-known for developing the Minecraft Console edition, follows a funding round last year led by Dutch investment fund Aqua-Spark.

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The investment will see Van der Kuyl join the board of Ace Aquatec as it enters its next growth phase. The company, led by chief executive Nathan Pyne-Carter, plans to grow its team and regional support network over the coming months as ethical farming and food insecurity move up the global agenda in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis. Ace Aquatec said it is on track for record revenues in 2020 and has a series of announcements in the pipeline.

Pyne-Carter said: “Aquaculture is set to grow even quicker post-Covid and is seen by many commentators as one of the key drivers to address the onset of a global food crisis. Chris and Paddy’s experience growing digital businesses will be a significant asset to our team as we strive to blend the best of physical and digital technologies to help our customers produce environmentally sustainable seafood.”

Van der Kuyl praised Ace Aquatec for being “such a fantastic technology, manufacturing and innovation-driven company”. He added: “I hope we can help bring our technology expertise to this world class organisation.”

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