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 sort, and Daniel Russek, founder and CEO of Atarraya, advised TechCrunch that Shrimpbox was an thought he bought after faculty in 2005 when he began with a non-government group working with fishing communities.

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

“We wished to make the shrimp enterprise extra sustainable and extra environment friendly with out destroying the atmosphere,” Russek mentioned. “We determined to take a guess on the expertise and have become a startup. We raised some cash, bought 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 into vertical aquaculture farming operations. This consists of cargo containers that may be situated even in landlocked areas and moved accordingly to go well with manufacturing wants.

The three-pronged expertise consists of biofloc expertise, which creates a great atmosphere to guard shrimp from illness and to allow them to develop with out the necessity for antibiotics or harsh chemical substances and with minimal want for water discharge. Then there may be the software program side that allows 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 mentioned. “The concept is that we will manufacture Shrimpbox wherever on the earth that is able to use with plug-and-play and will 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 at present being assembled in Guapinole, Oaxaca, Mexico and a farm for coaching and demo functions is anticipated to open later this yr in partnership with the Indiana Financial Improvement Corp.

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

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 yr.

“That progress has enabled us now to be in a really sturdy place to make an affect within the business,” he added. “Our objective is to create a brand new farming business in the US and to create infrastructure and expertise that’s as straightforward to make use of as a laundry machine in order that anyone can turn into a shrimp farmer.”

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

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