Bluefront adds AI feed analysis provider to portfolio
Spillfree solutions ‘will be instrumental in the ongoing industrialisation of the aquaculture industry’
Nordics seafood investor Bluefront Equity has taken a majority stake in Norwegian aquatech company Spillfree Analytics AS, which supports fish farmers with analysing and improving feeding processes and growth potential.
Trondheim-based Spillfree works on conjunction with fish farmers to develop tools and tailor-made software that help with biological optimisation and feeding.
“The solutions offered by Spillfree will be instrumental in the ongoing industrialisation of the aquaculture industry,” said Simen Landmark, partner at Bluefront Equity.
“Spillfree can, through video and data analysis, contribute towards delivering word-class feeding performance, with lower costs for the fish farmer, improved fish growth and minimal impact on the marine environment. This powerful combination makes Spillfree a perfect fit for Bluefront.”
A mission to automate
Vidar Myhre, founder, managing director and largest shareholder of Spillfree, said: “We estimate that less than 5% of the world’s fish farming facilities today utilise software and artificial intelligence to optimise their feeding processes. The remaining 95% use a combination of visual observation from the edge of the fish cage and video-assisted manual surveillance from a control room.
“Our objective is to fully automate most of the analytics operations that are today carried out manually. New capital from Bluefront Equity will allow us to implement these plans even more quickly.”
A combination of share purchases from current shareholders and a cash injection of approximately NOK 20 million (£1.6 m) makes Bluefront Equity the largest shareholder in Spillfree with an ownership share of approximately 60%. All the largest current shareholders of Spillfree continue as owners with a total shareholding of approximately 40%.
Bluefront Equity’s capital injection into Spillfree will be used to further develop the software that customers utilise, plus to further increase its efforts to capitalise on artificial intelligence (AI) to automate the analytics work in order to secure maximum utilisation of fish feed and improve operational results.
“We believe that improved utilisation of artificial intelligence, and less reliance on gut feelings, will represent a significant competitive advantage for fish farming companies,” said Landmark.
“We are very impressed by the Spillfree team’s work, and we will contribute towards further enhancing their efforts. Our objective is to offer an even more valuable product to fish farming companies.”
Spillfree expects to reach annual recurring revenues of more than NOK 20 m in 2023.
Bluefront’s other investments include majority holdings in ozone and oxygen specialist Redox, and oxygen and lighting specialist Bio Marine.