Your future shrimp meal could also be from Atarraya’s farming tech

Atarraya, creator of Shrimpbox, a sustainable “plug-and-play” shrimp farming expertise, is swimming to the floor after being in stealth mode since 2019. The Mexico Metropolis-based firm emerges with new funding, $3.9 million in Sequence A {dollars}, and a brand new U.S. headquarters in Indianapolis.

The corporate is claiming that is the “world’s first” expertise of its variety, and Daniel Russek, founder and CEO of Atarraya, advised TechCrunch that Shrimpbox was an concept he acquired after school in 2005 when he began with a non-government group working with fishing communities.

That grew into aquaculture farming expertise with Russek and his workforce making a startup firm round it known as Maricultura Vigas. That firm primarily targeted on the biotechnology features of aquaculture, together with the problem of elevating shrimp in a closed loop system.

“We needed to make the shrimp enterprise extra sustainable and extra environment friendly with out destroying the surroundings,” Russek stated. “We determined to take a guess on the expertise and have become a startup. We raised some cash, acquired some grants from the Mexican authorities.”

Nonetheless, in 2019, the corporate realized that the problem was a bit greater than the founders beforehand anticipated. Along with biotech, Russek felt there additionally wanted to be software program and automation parts. So that they created Atarraya, a U.S.-based firm tasked with the problem of creating the shrimp farming expertise sustainable and extra reasonably priced.

A Shrimpbox farm system permits farmers to turn out to be vertical aquaculture farming operations. This consists of cargo containers that may be positioned even in landlocked areas and moved accordingly to go well with manufacturing wants.

The three-pronged expertise consists of biofloc expertise, which creates a really perfect surroundings to guard shrimp from illness and to allow them to develop with out the necessity for antibiotics or harsh chemical compounds and with minimal want for water discharge. Then there’s the software program facet that permits distant operation administration of the manufacturing and workflow mapped out with information in order that it’s simpler to coach and carry out the farming duties. Lastly, synthetic intelligence-powered automation and engineering parts are designed to remote-monitor the water high quality, regulate temperature and oxygenation and feed the shrimp.

“This expertise is principally every little thing in a hyper modular answer,” Russek stated. “The thought is that we will manufacture Shrimpbox anyplace on the planet that is able to use with plug-and-play and may be moved round effectively utilizing an intermodal transportation system.”

Atarraya Shrimpbox

Atarraya’s Shrimpbox goals to sustainably develop shrimp. Picture Credit: Atarraya

Now armed with $3.9 million in Sequence A angel funding, the primary Shrimpbox prototypes are presently being assembled in Guapinole, Oaxaca, Mexico and a farm for coaching and demo functions is predicted to open later this 12 months in partnership with the Indiana Financial Improvement Corp.

The funding was led by Jeffrey Horing and a bunch of angel traders, together with Mark Ok. Gormley, Geoffrey Kalish, Robert Stavis and Robert Goodman. This brings Atarraya’s whole funding to $10 million up to now, Russek stated.

The corporate grew its Mexican enterprise 5x between 2020 and 2021. Russek expects Atarraya to start an early adopter program in 2023 and can begin scaling within the second half of the 12 months.

“That development has enabled us now to be in a really robust place to make an affect within the trade,” he added. “Our objective is to create a brand new farming trade in america and to create infrastructure and expertise that’s as simple to make use of as a laundry machine in order that anyone can turn out to be a shrimp farmer.”

Whereas Atarraya is working with actual shrimp, lab-grown and plant-based options have additionally seen love from enterprise capital this 12 months. For instance, South Korea-based CellMEAT raised $8.1 million for lab-grown shrimp.

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