In a significant move towards transforming agricultural technology in Indonesia, DayaTani, a farming focused agritech startup based in Singapore, has announced its successful acquisition of $2.3 million in seed round financing.

The round sees participation by prominent venture capitalists namely KBI Investment and MDI Ventures backed Ascent Venture Group who is leading this round, along with Northstar Ventures, BRI Ventures and Gentree Fund, DayaTani said in a statement on Monday.

According to the statement, this overall seed round signals a renewed sense of optimism for the agritech industry in Indonesia and solidifies investor confidence in DayaTani’s ability to transform Indonesian agriculture with technology while creating significant social impact.

“DayaTani was founded with a vision to level-up the yields of Indonesian farmers through technology and create significant social impact,

“This investment showcase confidence in our business model and technology. We are committed to elevating Indonesian farmers through innovative technology and partnerships,” said Deryl Lu, Co-Founder of DayaTani.

According to the statement, Indonesia’s agricultural sector, which contributes about 13 percent to its gross domestic product (GDP) and employs nearly 29 percent of its workforce, faces significant significant changes, particularly with the introduction of digital technologies.

Food security remains a crucial goal for Indonesia, and while there has been progress in staple food production since the Food Law of 2012, challenges persist, especially in terms of food affordability and nutritional quality.

The COVID-19 crisis has exposed vulnerabilities in the agri-food system, but it also presents opportunities for transformation.

It is noted that Indonesia’s agricultural sector is characterized by its traditional practices, which are now being revolutionized by digital technologies.

Currently DayaTani operates several farming research and development (R&D) sites across Java island for several horticulture as well as grain crops such as rice, corn, chili, tomato, potato, cabbage & shallots to understand the drivers of yield in a certain area.

Doing farming R&D helps in building the best practice SOP that works for the region which they then share with farmers in a profit–sharing business model supported by high-touch agronomy support, financed high quality inputs and digital tools to measure and control actions on the farm.

In terms of digital transformation, agriculture in Indonesia is still one of the least digitized sectors, leaving substantial room for productivity gains and development opportunities.

“DayaTani is building a semi-bionic agronomist agent who has access to all relevant tools and technologies at his disposal to solve farming problems of a farmer,” said Ankit Gupta, Co-Founder of DayaTani.

He explained that the first version of their agri LLM chatbot is already live in their field agent app and whatsapp for farmers.

“Now agronomists and farmers can ask agri-specific questions to the bot in their regional language via text or speech medium,

“It also supports multimodal capabilities such as image upload to diagnose crop problems with high precision and generate custom recommendations,” he added.

DayaTani plans to install over 100 internet of things (IoTs) devices across Java within a year, creating a network of weather stations.

This network will provide precise, location-specific weather information and more relevant weather alerts for farmers.

The company is working on building the necessary hardware and software for this network, including developing their Agronomist app.

They are also focusing on creating data science models that can offer practical recommendations for farmers, such as more accurate fertilizer suggestions based on real-world conditions rather than basic rules.

This approach, using real-world data, aims to continually improve these technologies and ultimately enhance the productivity of smallholder farmers in Southeast Asia.

DayaTani has also established partnerships with key industry players to support Indonesian farmers.

With assistance from Microsoft Singapore, they are developing LLM chatbots tailored for agricultural needs. The company also collaborates with leading agritech firms in input selling, offering high-quality resources at competitive prices to DayaTani farmers.

Additionally, prominent companies in output trading are involved in purchasing horticulture produce from DayaTani’s network of growers, ensuring a reliable market for their products.

“Overall, DayaTani’s initiatives are in sync with the larger goal of modernizing Indonesia’s agriculture, making it more efficient, sustainable, and resilient,

“By leveraging technology, DayaTani not only enhances productivity but also contributes to the digital ecosystem that is becoming increasingly vital in the agricultural sector of Indonesia,” said Lu.

DayaTani, an agritech startup based in Singapore with operations in Indonesia, was founded in 2023 by Deryl Lu and Gupta.

The company is dedicated to transforming Indonesian agriculture through advanced technology and digital solutions.

With a focus on both horticulture and grain crops, DayaTani operates several R&D sites across Java to develop and share best practices with local farmers.

Their business model, centered on tech-based yield improvements and high-quality input financing, aims to enhance farmers’ productivity and economic well-being.

Malaysia’s JCorp invests $1.74 million into Singapore-based agritech firm Archisen