ReelData AI, innovating for innovators

ReelData AI, innovating for innovators

After ReelData AI's recent funding, WeAreAquaculture had the opportunity to speak with Mathew Zimola, co-founder and CEO to ask him about future plans for the business. "Scaling, and helping the farmers and clients that we work with scale as well", was his first and immediate response.

As a technology company specializing in the development of tools for land-based aquaculture, the new products they are working on will allow fish farmers to increase the growth of their fish and gain a better understanding of what is happening in their tanks in real-time.

Happier and healthier fish

ReelData is an expert in computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI) but before starting with the development of its products, they always speak with farmers to learn about their needs and demands. "We are experts in these fields and we know that they are experts in farming fish", Mathew explains. So, the company has developed new products with a "farmers first approach", understanding where they can help optimize and improve the growth of fish. The aim is to allow farmers to have a better understanding of what is happening in their tanks in real-time, resulting in farmers growing fish "happier and healthier, and more effectively".

Two of these solutions are ReelAppetite – which, for example, they provide to Salmon Evolution – and ReelBiomass. The former is used to feed the fish, the latter to weigh them. One of their goals is to merge the two tools because if they are able to do so, says Mathew Zimola, "the sum of the solutions will be greater than the parts themselves". Over the next years, ReelData AI's goal is to get solutions like these into the hands of as many farmers as possible and combine them to create even greater value for farmers.

Land-based has a superpower

A ReelData software engineer (right) teaching a new intern (left). Photo: ReelData AI.

According to Mathew Zimola, one of the unique advantages of land-based aquaculture is the ability to create an environment for the fish, rather than adapt to it. "With this superpower, we get to really tune how farmers can grow and maximize production of fish", he says. They have a lot of information such as constant monitoring of the systems and water quality, he explains, and with it, they also have the ability to modify them. "The superpower of land-based aquaculture is not only the ability to monitor and understand what's happening but using that information to make a change", he claims. 

With this new funding, ReelData AI plans to better use all that information. To bring these new products to market and get them into the hands of as many farmers as possible to help them reach their goal of optimized and effective fish growth.

Ongoing production is the key

"As we look into the future for land-based aquaculture, I am extremely excited about the potential. The economics of the industry show that there is a protein gap across the world. With the expanding middle classes, depleting resources, and increasing populations, we simply cannot produce enough protein to meet global demand. And this is even more true in the field of aquaculture. Our industry is one that is regulated and produced on a finite resource, the shoreline", the CEO and co-founder of ReelData AI tells WeAreAquaculture.

"The question we must ask ourselves is, how can we increase fish production the fastest over the next 20 to 30 years? And in my opinion, ongoing production is the key component to achieving this goal", Mathew Zimola continues. He believes that as these farms are financed, and more money is invested into the land-based aquaculture industry, there will be a huge increase in fish production.As he claims, "we're innovating for innovators".

ReelData engineer cleaning the ReelBiomass camera lenses. Photo: ReelData AI.

The future is local

For ReelData, innovation is closely related to sustainability. "We are a company with core values around climate change, resource scarcity, and oceans", Mathew says. It's their philosophy, but also a business opportunity. "We have noticed that companies such as Salmon Evolution are ramping up their production to 100,000 metric tons and scouting for locations in North America. We also see companies like AquaBounty expanding their operations and many farmers are looking to either increase production in North America or establish new farms in the region. This is driven by the growing market for seafood in North America and the trend of people preferring to eat locally", he states.

Additionally, as he explains to us, the disruptions in supply chains caused by the COVID-19 pandemic have brought to light the need for locally produced food, to ensure a sustainable and healthy food supply in case of future disruptions. As a result, "a big trend as well is to start making food locally so that if these things do happen, slot supply chains do get disrupted, we can still feed people sustainably and healthy". So, sustainability and business can go together. "The more money we put into this industry also has a direct impact on sustainability and you can't really find that in too many other industries", he concludes.

About ReelData AI

ReelData is a Nova Scotia-based start-up that was founded with a passion for sustainability and entrepreneurship. The Canadian company recognized a need in a new market and has since built a team of over 30 employees, serving clients of various sizes in multiple countries around the world. ReelData is rapidly scaling to assist land-based aquaculture farms in reaching their full potential through the use of AI-aided technologies. Despite being a relatively young company, ReelData has already gained recognition as one of the most promising technology companies in the aquaculture industry.

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