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.