The Shrimpbox, created by the privately held corporation Atarraya, is described as an intelligent, automated shrimp farm that is disconnected from the oceans, and located close to the consumer. Atarraya has raised a USD 3.9 million Series A round led by Jeffrey Horing and other angel investors, including Mark Gormley, Geoffry Kalish, Robert Stavis, and Robert Goodman. With this round, the company has raised a total of USD 10 million for the Shrimpbox.

The Shrimpbox enables the production of shrimp without the ill effects of traditional shrimp farming, which pollutes oceans, destroys habitats and contributes to overfishing.

But for its creators, the innovation has attracted the most investor attention to Shrimpbox is its automation. This technology works with biotechnology that allows the production of shrimp without water exchange, antibiotics, abusive labor practices, mimicking an ideal breeding environment.

While the proprietary software enables remote management of production units possible and without the need for specialized personnel in the field. All relevant workflows are mapped to deal with data complexity; enables consistency and makes it easy to train and perform farming tasks and operations.

Automation for temperature regulation and oxygenation

The Shrimpbox counts with engineering and automation for temperature regulation and oxygenation. Also, for feeding the shrimp remote monitoring of water quality consistency of cultivation and economic viability in countries with high labor costs.

This technology is described as ‘plug-and-play’ and the aquaculture equivalent to agriculture’s vertical farming; it is ready to roll out at industry level scale.

“Our proprietary technology decreases the environmental impact and cost of traditional shrimp farming or trawling,” said Daniel Russek, CEO and founder of Atarraya. “It allows for the production of fresh, sustainable and local shrimp farms to be set up anywhere in the world as a vertical aquaculture farm that generates nearly 10X the return on investment to farmers.”

Partnership

Atarraya, a start-up tech company based in Mexico City, teamed up with San Francisco, California, United States-based firm Mercury Global Partners to design initial farms, and with Condesa, Mexico-based AguaBlanca Seafoods to build, test, and operate them.

Two initial prototypes were created in 2021, and following initial success, Atarraya has now expanded its collection of Shrimpbox units to five, with work underway to create 17 new units by December 2022. The company’s first farm, based in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA will open for training and demonstration later this year in partnership with the Indiana Economic Development Corporation.

Early adopter program

Atarraya is preparing to launch an early adopter program to include companies in niche markets, said the Marketing Manager Mariana Madrigal to SeafoodSource.

“The main benefit for them is that Shrimpbox is very easy to operate. They don’t need to learn aquaculture, just how to maintain the Shrimpbox. We think of it like a big Tamagotchi,” Madrigal said. “After these first adopters, we will turn to farmers in different industries like hog, poultry, and crops. We want Shrimpbox to be an attractive alternative for income and farm diversification.”

“This would shift the way we eat to become local, fresh, and affordable,” Madrigal said. “The seafood industry is based upon very complex supply chains that span thousands of miles. This negatively impacts the quality and safety of the product. It also makes a very opaque transaction, one in which sometimes you get very unfortunate surprises. Localizing production of any species is only possible with technology, and we think that Shrimpbox is a good first step,” added the Marketing Manager.

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