Indonesia's eFishery secures $30m working capital loan from HSBC

Indonesia's eFishery secures $30m working capital loan from HSBC

CEO and Co-founder eFishery Gibran Huzaifah (centre) in a signing ceremony with HSBC on Friday (31/05/2024). (Tabita Diela/DealStreetAsia)

Indonesian aquaculture company eFishery has secured a $30 million green and social loan from HSBC Indonesia for its expansion plans, the companies announced on Friday.

The loan is structured like a revolving facility, meaning the disbursement will be carried out as needed and rolled every 90 days. The financing, eFishery said, will help it increase the number of farmers it serves to a million from 200,000 currently.

“HSBC supports our working capital needs to encourage our export business. [With this proposed expansion] more fish farmer harvests in Indonesia can be connected to the export market at a better price,” Gibran Huzaifah, CEO and co-founder of eFishery, told reporters at a press conference.

Huzaifah noted that the financing would allow eFishery to distribute its eFeeders to more farmers. HSBC will also provide banking management and other services, including potential networking with supply chain players and local governments, to support eFishery’s India operations. The aquaculture firm completed a commercial pilot project in India at the end of 2023, acquiring over 1,000 acres of ponds and distributing over 3,000 tonnes of feed.

According to Huzaifah, India’s market shares similarities with Indonesia’s due to its size and fragmentation. During its pilot project in India, eFishery found that local cultivators had significantly lower productivity rates than their Indonesian counterparts.

“When we entered and brought our technology [for fish cultivation], their profits increased by 15X,” he said.

The debt financing comes about a year after eFishery raised $200 million in a Series D round led by Abu Dhabi-based global fund manager 42XFund. According to DealStreetAsia’s DATA VANTAGE, the firm has raised more than $314 million to date and is valued at $1.4 billion.

“Much of our business is generally quite predictable; for example, we do off-takes and exports… From the time we harvest till we send for exports, there is a time lag. We must first pay for the harvest, process it, and move the inventory,” Huzaifah explained.

The Indonesian unicorn recently announced a partnership with local lender Amar Bank to provide about $6 million in financing to farmers, allowing them to access digital banking services through the eFishery platform.

Riko Tasmaya, managing director and head of wholesale banking at HSBC Indonesia, said the financing for eFishery is part of the lender’s $1 billion ASEAN Growth Fund, which aims to help scale up platform players in the region’s booming digital economy.

“eFishery is just one of the many examples that we have done for many local and international clients that we support from the market research stage. They see the opportunity in Indonesia, so they come here, and we connect them with the government and the supply chain. After they settle and build a factory, for example, we provide financing and support them again with banking services and cash management,” Tasmaya said.

Huzaifah said eFishery will remain focused on its Indonesia and India operations for the time being and is in no rush to expand elsewhere. He added that the firm may conduct pilot projects in Southeast Asia, such as in Vietnam and the Philippines.

eFishery is keen on expanding its exports to the Middle East this year and South Korea and Europe in 2025. The firm currently exports to the United States, China, and Japan.

Edited by: Deepshikha Monga

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