See the original story in Japanese.
Singapore- and Tokyo-based aquatech startup Umiton announced on Friday that it has raised from 920 million yen (about $8.4 million) from Innovation Network Corporation of Japan, D4V and two Japanese angel investors, Shinichi Fujishiro and Takeshi Matsuoka. The company will use the funds to strengthen its business foundation and R&D efforts.
Umitron develops technologies to help fisheries outfits manage fish farming efficiently through digitalized operations. By installing a white-colored connected device called UmiGarden (as shown in picture above) on a fish crawl, it enables livestreaming of fish swimming behavior to realize school remote monitoring at any time.
In view of possible poor data connectivity at the installation site, the Umitron device has an edge computing function so that it can optimize feeding cost by analyzing the school of fish. Since it is said that feeding cost accounts for 70% of all the expenses needed upon fish farming, optimizing it can give a direct impact on improving business profitability.
Umitron developed a solution for feeding fish when they are hungry, focused on fish farming of specific species like tuna and Japanese sea perch as well as red sea bream which especially requires a larger amount of bait. The company also wants to help prevent wasting resources and pollution in the seawater by reducing overfeeding.
Umitron also has an office not only in Japan but also in Singapore because the aquaculture market has high potential in Southeast Asia while most of the industry’s majors have their Asia Pacific regional headquarters in Singapore. In fact, Umitron has been receiving support from Singapore’s Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) and also projects from Indonesia’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries (MMAF).
Some statistics show people’s consumption of marine products are increasing in accordance with GDP growth while large nations like China and India are getting wealthier. It is noted that the global market size of the fisheries industry is growing twice as fast than the global population growth rate, which indicates that the market potential is extremely huge. In addition to selling and implementing their solution to clients through aquaculture majors, Umitron plans to serve large fish farming firms directly.
Edited by “Tex” Pomeroy