Fisheries ecommerce Aruna today announced securing a $5.5 million funding from East Ventures, AC Ventures, and SMDV. The capital injection will help Aruna to reach more coastal areas across the archipelago and scale its fisherman community ecosystem, improve the startup’s productivity, product quality, and standardization, and expand its domestic and export B2B markets.
Aruna was founded in 2016 by three graduates of Telkom University Bandung, namely Farid Nafal Aslam (CEO), Indraka Fadhillah (COO), and Utari Octavianty (director-general). They aim to leverage technology to create a sustainable and fair-trade ecosystem for fish and marine products, thus leading to better welfare for fishers and other SMEs in the sector.
So far, Aruna is working with thousands of fishers in 31 coastal areas across the country. It provides a new market to the fishermen communities by connecting them to a broader range of B2B clients. The startup claims that most of its partnering fishermen see their earnings increase by 3 to 4 times - the highest reaching 13 times than national average, or Rp 1.5 million up to Rp 6 million higher earnings per month.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a shift in demand for fisheries products - less from the hospitality industry and more from retail.
And while there was a more significant opportunity as a supply alternative for export markets in Southeast Asia, East Asia, North America, and the Middle East, Aruna also saw domestic demand grew by 40%.
Aruna also began serving the B2C market by making its products (fresh fish and seafood products, ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook products) available on marketplaces such as Bukalapak, Grab Mart, Shopee, and Tokopedia. It now collaborates with Sayurbox, Nalayan, and Delisari for resellers. Thanks to its expansion and consistent global demand for fresh sea products amid the pandemic, Aruna’s H1-2020 revenue grew by 86 times YoY.
“Aruna’s mission is to make the sea a better livelihood for all. E-commerce helps create more fairness and transparency in the fishing industry, as well as making a more efficient supply chain. By reaching more coastal areas across Indonesia, Aruna joined the effort in building economic equality in Indonesia,” said Farid.