Indonesian agritech start-up eFishery announced Tuesday that it has successfully closed $90 million in its Series C round, making it the largest fundraise by an aquaculture technology start-up in the world.

This round of investment was co-led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India, with participation from existing investors including the Northstar Group, Go-Ventures, Aqua-Spark, and Wavemaker Partners, eFishery said in a statement.

It said that the funds raised will be used to scale up its platform and to strengthen its digital products, making it the largest digital “cooperative” for fish and shrimp farming.

eFishery also aims to expand regionally, targeting the top 10 countries in aquaculture, such as India and China.

“We are focused on increasing farmers’ productivity. Through the introduction of new technologies, we’re streamlining the fish and shrimp farming business, making the industry more effective, efficient and sustainable.

“For example, our upstream technology, eFeeder, optimizes yield days and increases farmers’ production capacity by up to 26 percent while also optimizing feed efficiency by up to 30 percent through reducing time and labour costs. We also connect farmers with buyers via eFresh, our downstream technology, which increases their purchasing power. As a result, the solutions ecosystem lowers operational farming costs and increases the farmers’ income by up to 45 percent,” said Gibran Huzaifah, Co-founder and Chief Executive Officer of eFishery.

He said that the new funding will allow the startup to scale its impact, expand regionally, and achieve its target of being a leading aquaculture technology company by improving the livelihoods of the farmers that it empowers.

“We are excited to partner with Temasek, Softbank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India, who we believe can add a significant boost to our mission,” he said.

He also said the funding will gear the startup to aggressively hire, especially for engineering and product development talent.

He said the startup aim to recruit a thousand of new employees this year, not only to make an impact for the aquaculture industry in Indonesia, but also on a larger scale, to conquer the global aquaculture supply.

“Our first and foremost vision is to feed the global community through aquaculture as this is the most efficient and highly nutritious source of animal protein. With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, we will better prepare this sector to be ready to feed the world,” he said.

According to the statement, eFishery will be investing this Series C funding into growing its team and strengthening its products and operations in Indonesia. It will also extend its venture by expanding the business into regional markets.

eFishery aims to acquire one million farmers in the next three to five years, and through its tech-driven solutions, eFishery will help to modernize farming techniques and improve outcomes.

“Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of fish and we believe its aquaculture industry can play a meaningful role in feeding the world’s growing population,” said Anna Lo, Investment Director at SoftBank Investment Advisers.

“eFishery is pioneering the adoption of technology for local fish and shrimp farmers with a complete, integrated platform that supports them to improve productivity across feed supply, production, and the sale of fresh produce. We are delighted to be partnering with the eFishery team to support them to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of aquatic food products to Indonesia and beyond,” she added.

Based in Bandung, eFishery revolutionizes traditional farming methods and provides solutions designed specifically to improve outcomes for fish and shrimp farmers. It offers an end-to-end platform providing farmers with access to (i) technology, (ii) feed, (ii) financing, and (iii) markets.

Since launching in 2013, the company has deployed thousands of smart feeders, serving over 30,000 farmers across 24 provinces in Indonesia. At the peak of the pandemic, eFishery scaled its network by tenfold since December 2020, and deepened adoption of its fresh and feed services.

Since the last funding round, eFishery has grown its headcount threefold, with more than 900 employees now onboard. Though it is headquartered in Bandung, more than half of the employees are located remotely given the company’s permanent Work From Anywhere (WFA) policy.

“With $20 billion in market size, and a fragmented and complex supply chain, aquaculture is one of the largest and most attractive opportunities in Indonesia. That’s what makes this partnership with eFishery, the undisputed leader in the market, so exciting,” said Aakash Kapoor, VP, Sequoia India.

eFishery’s latest suite of cutting edge products includes eFarm and eFisheryKu App. eFarm is an online platform that provides farmers with comprehensive and easy-to-understand information about their shrimp farming operations, while eFisheryKu is an integrated platform where fish farmers can purchase their farming supplies, such as feed, at competitive prices.

Farmers can also apply for a loan through eFund, which links fish farmers directly to financial institutions. A key component of eFund is Kabayan (“Kasih Bayar Nanti”, translates to “Pay Later”), a service that provides fish farmers with financing that can be used to purchase fish farming needs through installments. All processes are done seamlessly with just one app, eFisheryKu. To date, more than 7,000 farmers have been supported by this service, with the total loan approved exceeding $ 28 million.

“eFishery’s product offerings spanning feeder devices, input feed procurement, and fresh output sales combined with farmer financing is the most comprehensive and strategic model to serve this market. Sequoia Capital India team is impressed with the strong growth and fundamentals in the business, and excited about the prospects of the company,” said Johan Surani, VP, Sequoia India.

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