1. Startup

eFishery Obtains 1.2 Trillion Rupiah Fresh Funding, to Expand Throughout Asia

The series C was led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Sequoia Capital India, with the participation of previous investors, including Northstar Group, Go-Ventures, Aqua-Spark and Wavemaker Partners

Aquatech startup eFishery announced a series C funding of $90 million (over 1.2 trillion Rupiah) led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, Sequoia Capital India, with the participation of previous investors, including Northstar Group, Go-Ventures, Aqua-Spark, and Wavemaker Partners.

The fresh money is said to be the largest amount for the aquaculture technology startup. The company plans to use the funds to improve platform's tech and services. In addition, to enhance eFishey's digital products in order to become the largest digital “cooperative” for fish and shrimp cultivators. eFishery also plans regional expansion, targeting the top 10 aquaculture -friendly countries, including India and China.

SoftBank Investment Advisers' Director, Anna Lo said, "Indonesia is one of the largest fish production rate in the world and its aquaculture sector plays an important role in producing food for the world's growing population. eFishery is pioneering technology adoption for local fish and shrimp farmers with a complete end-to-end platform, supporting them to increase productivity across the supply chain from technology, food supply, production, and direct sales.

"We are pleased to partner with eFishery and support them to provide reliable and sustainable fishery food products to Indonesia and other regions," Lo said in an official statement, (1/11).

Sequoia India's VP, Aakash Kapoor added, “With a $20 billion market and a complex and fragmented supply chain, aquatech becomes one of the biggest and most attractive opportunities in Indonesia. That is what makes working with eFishery, as the market leader in this sector, interesting.”

Based in Bandung, eFishery is revolutionizing the traditional fish and shrimp farming industry and providing solutions specifically designed to increase fish and shrimp aquaculture. eFishery offers an integrated end-to-end platform and provides fish and shrimp farmers access to (i) technology, (ii) feed, (iii) financing, and (iv) markets.

eFishery innovation

Was founded in 2013, thousands of smart feeders have been used and more than 30,000 farmers have been served from 24 provinces in Indonesia. Through pandemic peak, eFishery increased the coverage by 10 times since December 2020, and advanced the sales of feed and aquaculture harvests.

eFishery has a series of innovations, including eFarm and eFisheryKu. eFarm is an online platform that provides complete and easy-to-understand information about shrimp farming operations for cultivators, while eFisheryKu is an integrated platform, enabling fish farmers to purchase various aquaculture products, including fish feed, at competitive prices. Farmers can also apply for capital through eFund, which connects fish farmers directly with financial institutions.

eFund's main feature is Kabayan (Kasih, Bayar Nanti), a paylater service that provides productive loan to cultivators for aquaculture production needs with a maturity payment system. The whole process is run through the eFisheryKu app. To date, more than 7,000 cultivators have been supported with the total approved loans exceeding 400 billion rupiah.

eFishery's Co-founder & CEO, Gibran Huzaifah, said that the company focuses on presenting solutions to increase farmer productivity. Through the latest technologies, he and his team streamline fish and shrimp farming businesses, creating the more effective, efficient and sustainable industry. For example, eFishery's downstream technology, eFeeder, is able to speed up the harvest cycle and increase production capacity by up to 26%.

“We are also connecting cultivators directly with buyers through our downstream technology, eFresh, thereby increasing their marketability. It is resulting in the reduction of operational costs and farmers' increasing income up to 45 percent," he said.

Since the latest funding, eFishery has tripled its workforce, with a total of more than 900 people. Although the head office is located in Bandung, more than half of the employees work remotely because of the policy that allows employees to work from anywhere (Work From Anywhere/WFA).

“We will use the funding to aggressively recruit the team, especially talents in engineering and product development. We are targeting 1,000 new employees this year, not only to create an impact in the Indonesian aquaculture industry, but on a larger scale, to conquer the global aquaculture supply.”

Through its technology-based solutions, eFishery modernizes cultivation techniques for better aquaculture harvest. eFishery has ambitions to acquire one million cultivators within the next 3-5 years.

“The most important thing is, we always remember our vision to feed the global community through aquaculture, because aquaculture products held the most efficient and highly nutritious source of animal protein. By 2050, there will be 10 billion people to feed, and we are ready to prepare this sector to be able to feed the world,” Gibran said.

Aquatech startup in Indonesia

The global Aquaculture market size is forecasted to reach a market growth in 2020 to 2025, at a CAGR of 3.5%% within 2020 to 2025 and is expected to reach $239.8 trillion in 2025, from $209.4 trillion in 2019.

Every year, aquaculture increases its contribution to global seafood production. The sector produced 110.2 million tonnes in 2016, valued at $243.5 billion and constitutes 53 percent of the world's seafood supply. According to FAO data, 90 percent of production volume is produced in Asia.

In Indonesia, there are several startups have started targeting similar segments. For example, Aruna, a technology startup that provides a platform to make it easier for fishermen to sell their products directly to global and domestic markets. The company has successfully secured funding from East Ventures, AC Ventures, and SMDV in 2020.

Another startup engaged in a more specific sector is Jala. This startup presents technological solutions to optimize the productivity of shrimp farmers in Indonesia. In 2019, the company managed to secure a seed round from 500 Startups worth of 8 billion Rupiah.

Original article is in Indonesian, translated by Kristin Siagian

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