East Ventures, SMDV invest in Indonesian fishery platform Aruna

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Indonesian integrated fishery platform startup Aruna is said to have closed a fresh round of funding with SMDV and East Ventures as the key investors, DealStreetAsia has learnt from sources familiar with the matter.

Aruna is understood to have secured funding in the sub-$5-million range from investors like East Ventures, SMDV and Agaeti. We have learnt that the company is eyeing a bigger next round with its valuation touching a double-digit figure.

Both the startup and the investors declined to comment on the development.

Dealstreetasia had reported earlier that the startup was in talks to raise capital.

Aruna has snagged the fresh round following reports in July-August this year that Japanese giant SoftBank Group Corp was keen to invest in the startup.

SoftBank Group chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son is reported to have met the founders of three startups – fashion marketplace Zilingo, edtech startup Ruangguru and fisheries e-commerce firm Aruna – during his visit to Indonesia in July.

Aruna aims to create fair trading of seafood products, thus improving the livelihood of local fishermen. It raised a seed round in 2017 from UMG Indonesia.

When contacted, Aruna CEO Farid Aslam told us that their current focus was on making the seafood supply chain more efficient. In an email interview, he said, “we are an e-commerce platform for fishery products and want to create a fair fish trading [platform] for everyone. Our current focus is on B2B and we target to acquire small-scale fishermen as our partners.” Aslam told us that the company had recorded an 8x growth in revenue during 2017-2018.

The startup plans to expand to South-east Asian countries and China, he added, declining to comment on the company closing the deal.

While the startup set out focusing on a few commodity types, but it now plans to diversify its basket of products that have high demand potential in the Asian market.

East Ventures is an early-stage venture fund focusing on SEA and Japan with four unicorns in its portfolio. The firm has invested in hundreds of companies in Indonesia, Singapore, Japan, Malaysia, and Thailand including Tokopedia, Traveloka, Mercari, Disdus (acquired by Groupon), Kudo (acquired by Grab), Omise, IDNTimes, Ruangguru, Jurnal, Cermati, Mokapos, Shopback, EVHive, and Loket (acquired by Gojek).

SMDV is an Indonesia based tech-focused venture capital firm that has invested in companies like Fore, Happy Fresh, Warung Pintar and has made almost 21 investments till now. Meanwhile, Agaeti is a new VC firm that has made five investments till now in players like Fore, Warung Pintar, Kargo Technologies and recently Ride Technology.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.