KONTAN.CO.ID - JAKARTA. Indonesian agritech start-up eFishery today announced that it has successfully closed its Series B round, co-led by Go-Ventures and the Northstar Group, together with existing investors including sustainable aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark and early stage enterprise and deep tech VC Wavemaker Partners. The funds raised will be used to strengthen product development, anchor eFishery’s position within the domestic aquaculture industry, and grow the team.
“eFishery’s solutions, which directly support local fish farmers, also address wider issues, including strengthening food supply chains, alleviating global food shortages and helping to boost both Indonesia’s fishing industry and overall economy. As eFishery expands first within Indonesia and subsequently regionally, we look forward to seeing these benefits grow exponentially,” said Aditya Kumar, VP of Investments, Go-Ventures.
“We are really inspired by the impact that eFishery is having on the aquaculture supply chain,” said Patrick Walujo, co-founder of the Northstar Group. He added, “The company’s ability to deliver fish farmers the latest in smart-hardware integrated with cloud-based mobile analytics is transforming a very traditional business in Indonesia. We are proud to partner with the eFishery team and see great things ahead.”
Launched in 2013 and based in Bandung, eFishery offers an end-to-end platform providing fish and shrimp farmers with access to (i) feed, (ii) financing, and (iii) markets. The company serves thousands of farmers in 24 provinces across Indonesia. eFishery raised a pre-Series A round in 2015 and a Series A round in in the late 2018. eFishery’s business has quadrupled over that period and was profitable over past two years.
“Through the introduction of new technologies, we increase yields and lower costs for fish and shrimp farmers. With products that support the entire aquaculture ecosystem, from ponds to last mile distribution, we help farmers build more profitable and sustainable farming businesses,” said Gibran Huzaifah, Co-founder and CEO of eFishery. “This new funding will allow us to grow the company, roll out across Indonesia, and achieve our vision of being a leading aquaculture intelligence company. We are excited to partner with Go-Ventures and the Northstar Group, who we believe can add significant value to our platform.”
eFishery will be investing the Series B funding into strengthening operations and building stronger data capabilities and algorithms for the eFisheryFeeder. New versions of the eFisheryFeeder are being developed to be more compatible with different types of ponds (including smaller ponds and ponds using floating net cages). The company is also piloting new sensors, including those specifically for shrimps, and aims to launch these new sensors later this year.
To simplify matters for farmers, eFishery has recently set up eFisheryPoint, a one-stop physical hub located near the farmers to allow them to access eFishery products easily. At the eFisheryPoint hubs, fish farmers can purchase eFishery products, sell their fish, or participate in other engagement activities, such as arranging product training, product demos or repairs. Currently, there are 30 eFisheryPoint in Indonesia, and eFishery plans to open 100 new hubs across Indonesia by end 2020.
“eFishery’s products support tens of thousands of fish and shrimp farms in over 180 cities, based in 24 provinces across Indonesia. There are some 3.3 million fish farms across Indonesia. Our most effective sales channel is marketing our products directly to the farmers by arranging field visits. With the launch of eFisheryPoint, which allows us to engage with farmers easier, as well as our efforts to penetrate the domestic market further, we are aiming for a 10-fold increase in our business,” said Gibran Huzaifah.
In order to achieve this growth, eFishery will expand its team. Currently, the company has more than 250 employees and plans to double headcount by end of 2020. eFishery will specifically focus on strengthening its product and engineering team, to create new digital products and services, as well as develop its sales and customer experience team, to accelerate the company’s growth.
“Although we started some pilot trials in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam, our main focus for the remainder of 2020 will be to secure our position in Indonesia through scaling up our products and creating more strategic collaborations. Once we have built a strong and replicable model throughout Indonesia, we will then be ready to explore expanding regionally,” concluded Gibran Huzaifah.