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Aquatic AI – automated aquaculture investment opportunity

Opportunity for

  • Investors and commercial partners interested in a novel, sustainable aquaculture production system start-up
  • Partners able to support business scale-up with commercial acumen in areas including: seafood distribution expertise, export market development and networks, global fine dining restaurant expertise and connections, international marketing, business/finance expertise that supports subsequent capital fund raising rounds.

Opportunity description

Industry challenge:

The demand for sustainable seafood is increasing and the world needs novel, sustainable aquaculture technologies with a low environmental footprint to help meet that demand.

Freshwater marron is a premium food product that has been lauded by chefs as superior to lobster, but existing farming methods are not able to produce consistent supply. Without reliability, chefs are unwilling to put marron on the menu and domestic and international wholesalers are unwilling to enter into supply agreements, severely limiting the industry’s ability to make headway in lucrative export markets.

There are large established markets for similar products, including Western Australian rock lobster (worth $500m) and yabbies. Internationally lobster is worth $10b+. Previous industry export research identified a huge opportunity for freshwater marron export. With Marron regularly preferred by chefs, Aquatic AI’s longer-term goal is for the product to outperform WA Rock lobster globally. Aquatic AI’s technology-driven approach aims to produce marron at the scale and predictability to capitalise on those markets.

Current opportunity:

Aquatic AI is seeking engagement from investors and partners to raise $2M. Capital will be used to build the modular pilot production system and develop the engineering and operational elements necessary for scaling. Further capital will be raised to increase large scale production.

Aquatic AI has had success at pilot scale while de-risking the early stages of R&D with non-dilutive funding through AgriFutures Australia and The University of Western Australia (UWA). This has created a rare opportunity for early-stage investors and commercial partners to be part of the first round raising private capital to support an agrifood company that already has significant financial investment and early R&D success.

Opportunity background:

Aquatic AI has already demonstrated the ability to grow marron to export size under controlled conditions. They are developing a modular and automated, controlled vertical aquaculture system that will enable the large-scale and reliable supply demanded by the seafood industry. This presents a huge opportunity to transform a relatively unknown Australian luxury product into a lucrative global production and technology business.

The current R&D program is focused on optimising the key levers of marron nutrition, water quality management and the interaction between the two.

Aquatic AI is funded through AgriFutures Australia and The University of Western Australia. Support is provided through UWA multi-disciplinary group of scientists that are providing the robust scientific data to support scaling.

The next milestone of development is building a range of data and automation-driven systems that allow Aquatic AI to efficiently scale and rapidly optimise the growth of marron. They already collect industry-leading data that enable advanced data science applications. They are monitoring and optimising for animal well-being, moult size, moult increment and profitability. The physical system has been designed for automation from day one, drawing upon their significant experience in robotics and advanced manufacturing. They are now in a position to implement and expand that vision.

Read more about Aquatic AI and this opportunity here: Aquatic AI’s $2M capital raise to scale high-tech marron system

Opportunity type

Seeking investment, Seeking partners

Express interest by

30 June 2022

Readiness

Early (TRL 1-4)
Describes the challenge or opportunity being pursued and undertakes preliminary R&D to determine if the concept is feasible.
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Project led by

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Aquaculture

Aquatic AI

Aquatic AI are an aquaculture technology company building a new fully automated, scalable vertical aquaculture system for producing marron.

Multiple industries
Alternative protein Aquaculture
  • Organisation type

    Startup or Scaleup or SME

Logo for Aquatic AI

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