XpertSea, the Aqua Spark-backed seafood tech and financial services startup, has promoted its president and COO Katie Sokalsky to CEO.

Sokalsky has taken over from founder Valerie Robitaille, who announced on LinkedIn earlier this month she will leave the role but still serve as XpertSea’s chair of the board.

"Over the past year our team has been quietly working toward an ambitious goal: bringing sustainable shrimp to the market," Robitaille said.

"As we get closer to fulfilling this mission, I feel compelled to get more directly invested in this work. I also recognize what an amazing job our president Katie Sokalsky has done since February 2021 in preparing XpertSea for its next phase of growth."

Sokalsky joined XpertSea last year following the launch of its data-driven marketplace and financial services in Ecuador.

Prior to joining XpertSea, Sokalsky led the digital transformation for Canada-based Scotiabank’s retail customers. She was also previously CFO and head of operations at Goldmoney Inc., a Toronto-based fintech that operates the world's largest 100 percent reserved gold-based savings platform and payment system.

Robitaille added while she is no longer CEO, she will work continue to work closely with XpertSea Chief Sustainability Officer Roxanne Nanninga "to drive exciting new initiatives that will reward the shrimp industry for embracing good practices."

Last year, XpertSea closed a $20 million (€17.1 million) series B funding round.

The round was led by QED Investors and Atlantico with Investissement Quebec joining previous investors Obvious Ventures, Aqua-Spark, Tony Fadell’s Future Shape, Real Ventures and edo Capital.