Jobs boost as Dundee-based Ace Aquatec nets seven-figure funding and names investor Chris van der Kuyl chair
The aquaculture technology company, which says it designs its products to make fish farming more efficient and humane while protecting the environment, states that it will use the seven-figure funding boost from “cleantech” investor Earth Capital Limited (ECL) to grow its current portfolio of products and markets.
Ace Aquatec explains that it will expand its presence and distributor networks in key markets including the UK, Europe, Canada, South America, and South-east Asia, and expects to create ten jobs including engineering, software, and sales support roles in Dundee and Chile as a result of the funding.
The investment is also expected to enable the acceleration of the firm’s development in innovative aquaculture technology offerings, including its Biomass Camera that has recently started production following trials and is designed to detect and quantify fish biomass automatically. It uses machine learning and artificial intelligence to produce accurate, real-time data on a range of fish species populations and distributions, says Ace Aquatec.
The latest capital injection brings the amount the Scottish firm has raised to more than £10 million since its series A investment with Aqua-Spark, which it says is one of the biggest blue growth investment funds, and Chroma Ventures – the investment vehicle of Chris van der Kuyl and Paddy Burns of games developer 4J Studios.
Bradley Jones, senior investment manager at ECL is joining the board of the aquaculture tech firm, as is Nina Santi, senior advisor at INAQ AS, a business strategy advisory firm specialising in the seafood industry, as a non-exec director.
Mr van der Kuyl, principal of Chroma Ventures, and now promoted to Ace Aquatec chair from board member, said: “On behalf of the board, I am delighted to welcome Nina to Ace Aquatec. Nina is an accomplished and transformative executive with extensive experience in operations and technology management within the aquaculture sector. The board will also benefit from her strong scientific research capability and innovation experience”. Ms Santi said: “I am excited for the opportunity to join the board of Ace Aquatec. [It] provides key solutions that the industry really needs and is well positioned for further growth.”
Ace Aquatec boss Nathan Pyne-Carter said: "Earth Capital Limited shares our outlook and passions – namely, the critical importance of technology to drive sustainable food production. Together we can tackle one of the world’s most pressing issues by providing sustainable and responsible protein for a growing world population.
"The team’s support and expertise will help us scale the business and take another huge step forward in the development of high-welfare products for the global seafood industry. We are also excited to welcome Bradley Jones to our board, whose deep knowledge and strategic insights will be invaluable in guiding our future growth."
Mr Jones said: “We are excited to be partnering with Ace Aquatec, a key player in the aquaculture industry, on the next stage of its development journey. Sustainable farming aligns perfectly with [ECL’s] mission to advance technology within the energy, food, and water sectors while driving towards a net-zero future."
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