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UK’s female-founded startup Samudra Oceans snaps £150K for AI robots in seaweed farming

Samudra Oceans co-founder
Picture credits: Samudra Oceans

London robotics startup, Samudra Oceans, has secured a £150K investment from British Design Fund, as part of a £800K pre-seed funding round. The funding will be used to build more prototypes and deploy them in more regions, as the company works on providing a global use case for its model. 

Currently active in the UK and Scotland, and with a project also underway in Jamaica, cleantech will soon be launching schemes in both India and Sri Lanka.

Robots for sustainable seaweed farming

Samudra Oceans was founded by Joyeeta Das and Alex Facey. They were inspired by the idea for the business after recognising the huge potential of sea farming to help tackle the climate crisis and provide a sustainable, long-term food source. Reportedly, seaweed alone is capable of capturing up to 20x more carbon than trees.

Samudra Oceans’ innovative AI-powered static monitoring robots use powerful sensors and cameras that enable farmers to actively monitor and predict their seaweed yield. They are designed to support the growth of sustainable seaweed farming by reducing unnecessary and costly boat trips and labour that can often far outweigh sale prices.

Having identified the need for automation within the subsea farming industry, they are developing a solution for reducing the high overheads and labour associated with sea farming. By reducing manual labour and boat fuel costs, Samudra’s solution enables farmers to grow beyond previous limits, while benefiting from economies of scale.

Samudra’s technology provides real-time data that is accessible on a farmer’s phone or tablet. The first iteration of the product can measure water temperature, salinity, and water turbidity, whilst AI and backend software translates the data onto a dashboard for farmers, providing insights and analysis on their crops.

Currently, the company is running a trial project in Cornwall focused on the growth of food grade seaweed and the impact of its technology on both yield and efficiency. A second project is also underway in Norfolk that is using the company’s state-of-the-art technology to explore a model for the future of sea farming.

Joyeeta Das, Samudra Oceans co-founder, said: “We believe the ocean is central to solving the climate and nature emergency. Not only can seaweed capture up to 20x more carbon than terrestrial trees but when farmed responsibly it can also provide a sustainable food source and aid biodiversity, while empowering coastal economies. We’re delighted to have the backing of the British Design Fund and our other investors, as we look to use our technology to enable the scaling up of sea farming, positively impacting the blue economy and blue carbon assets.”

Damon Bonser, CEO, British Design Fund, said: “We’re delighted to welcome Samudra Oceans to our portfolio and look forward to working with the team, as they move forward with their innovative solutions. There is a really interesting startup scene building around blue carbon and Samudra has spotted a clear need that has the potential to make a big impact.”

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