Aquaculture-focused internet-of-things (IoT) startup eFishery, on August 12 announced successfully closing series B funding. The amount of investment remains undisclosed. The round was co-led by Singapore-based private equity firm Northstar Group, and venture capital (VC) fund Go-Ventures—whose cornerstone investor is Gojek. Existing investors, including Utrecht-based sustainable aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark and deep tech VC Wavemaker Partners, also participated. eFishery will use the fund to strengthen product development, expand across Indonesia, and grow the team.
eFishery previously bagged preseries A funding from Aqua-Spark and Ideosource in 2015, followed by a $4 million Series A funding from Wavemaker Partners and 500 Startups in late 2018. They claim that the business has quadrupled over that period and was profitable over the 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, cofounder and CEO of eFishery.
Gibran cofounded the Bandung-based aquaculture intelligence company in 2013 together with CTO Chrisna Aditya and Muhammad Ihsan Akhirulsyah. They focus on building sustainable ecosystems for local fish and shrimp farmers.
eFishery started by launching eFisheryFeeder, a technology solution that enables smart, automated feeding for fish and shrimp, which can be monitored and scheduled via smartphones. The company said that currently there are more than ten thousand ponds in Indonesia supported by the feeder.
Today, eFishery has several vital products to help farmers’ business:
- eFisheryFeed: whereby eFishery works with various brands of fish and shrimp feeds to ensure easier distribution at competitive prices.
- eFisheryFund: allows farmers to apply for loans to purchase eFishery products and gain access to capital. It collaborates with several financing partners such as ALAMI, Batumbu, BRI Syariah, iGrow, and Likui.id—with two big partners to be announced soon. Since its launch in Q4-2019 until July 2020, the total disbursed loan had surpassed Rp 6 billion for hundreds of farmers.
- eFisheryFresh: an online platform that connects farmers to buyers (merchants and end consumers), to enable farmers to access broader markets to sell their fresh produce. eFishery claims to serve hundreds of farmers and over 2,000 B2B buyers transacting through the platform. They mostly consist of distributors, stockist/agents, and hotel, restaurant, and cafés. Other than contacting eFisheryFresh directly via WhatsApp, it is also available on online marketplace Blibli.com, Bukalapak, and Tokopedia.
Recently, eFishery also set up a one-stop physical hub eFisheryPoint, which enables nearby farmers to access its products and services easily. eFishery plans to expand the number of the physical hub—from 30 in August to 100 by the end of this year.
“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. To accommodate its expansion plan, eFishery will also double its team’s headcount, which currently stands at 250 employees.
Since 2017, eFishery was reported to launch pilot projects in Bangladesh, Thailand, and Vietnam by partnering with a local university and non-profit organizations. However, Gibran said this year they would focus on strengthening their position in Indonesia first before expanding regionally.
“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 the 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.
Gibran Huzaifah is an honoree of Forbes 30 Under 30 2017.