Indonesia-based aquaculture company eFishery has announced the completion of its commercial pilot in India, marking a significant milestone in its global expansion journey.

EFishery said in a statement on Thursday that it has kicked off the pilot project in March of this year, has successfully acquired over 1,000 acres of ponds under contract, and has now distributed more than 3,000 metric tons of feed.

This achievement brings the firm closer to expanding its footprint to five new Indian states by the end of 2024.

Moreover, the pilot project also signals a broader expansion beyond Southeast Asia with a deliberate, one-country-at-a-time approach for sustainability and impact assessment.

Beyond India, eFishery is eyeing opportunities for one or two countries in Asia and Latin America within a year while continuing to export shrimp products overseas.

The company’s global expansion strategy also focuses on tapping into diverse markets, offering a comprehensive ecosystem to farmers, and creating a “Digital Co-Op” model that provides access to high-quality inputs, internet of things (IoT) technologies, production standard operating procedure (SOPs), and guaranteed market off-take, ultimately empowering farmers and unlocking their true potential.

EFishery Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder Gibran Huzaifah explained that India is a key part of eFishery’s overall growth strategy, which also includes expanding the company footprint in Indonesia and growing in export markets.

“Beginning with the Indian pilot project, I take pride in our global impact, unlocking the potential of aquaculture worldwide through Indonesian-made technology, resulting in a remarkable average two to three-fold increase in farmers’ profit,” he said.

He said the firm recognized the potential and value of tapping into the Indian aquaculture market, which mirrors the size and structure of the Indonesian market, both dominated by small and medium farmers.

“By supporting them as partners, these key contributors to local and regional food security help ensure a sustainable and accessible source of protein for global communities,” he added.

According to the statement, India, with a population of 1.4 billion, sees seafood consumption covering 60 percent to 70 percent of its people.

The country’s aquaculture industry, valued at over $15 billion, has grown at an impressive more than 8 percent compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the last three decades.

Despite its vast potential, small and medium farmers in India grapple with challenges such as poor market linkage, inconsistent and non-beneficial pricing schemes, delayed payment terms, and a lack of basic farm management information, protocols, technology, and innovation.

Addressing these challenges, eFishery steps in to empower farmers to make informed, data-driven decisions promptly.

The focus is on refining farm operations, optimizing cultivation practices, and enhancing overall yield.

Neil Wendover, eFishery’s International Expansion Lead, highlighted the company’s commitment to enhancing farmers’ profitability in every market it enters.

“Our business objectives are centered on solving problems for the farmers and improving profitability through heightened productivity and efficiency,

“Rather than dividing the aquaculture pie, we are essentially doubling the size,” he said.

Commencing its operations in Andhra Pradesh, an Indian state contributing to 35 percent of the country’s total aquaculture production, eFishery has conducted a thorough market and strategy assessment.

“We have grown a dedicated Indian team to 50 employees with strong local leadership in place,

“This, together with collaborations with government entities and input suppliers, is also instrumental in navigating the unique challenges of the Indian aquaculture sector, which remains a fragmented but vast and exciting market,” Wendover said.

He also said the firm is on track to achieve a 10 times growth, aligning with its international expansion business objective.

Established in Bandung, West Java, in 2013, eFishery has disrupted the Indonesian aquaculture industry by offering an IoT-based digital auto feeder.

This innovation aims to enhance accountability, efficiency, and convenience in the fish farming business.

Their data-driven technology utilizes sensors to monitor and optimize feeding, fish health, and water quality while minimizng waste.

As the first unicorn startup in the global aquaculture industry, eFishery said its strategic move into India underscores its commitment to addressing the global hunger problems.

“Our presence in India is a crucial step in our international expansion strategy,

“With a focus on technology and data-driven solutions, eFishery is leading the transformation of aquaculture value chains and contributing to the economic well-being of farmers,” Gibran concluded.

Indonesia’s eFishery raises $200M in Series D funding led by 42XFund