Indonesia-based agritech startup eFishery is in talks with private equity firm Northstar and Go-Ventures, the venture capital arm of ride-hailing giant Gojek, to raise fresh funding, according to multiple sources familiar with the development.
Founded in 2013, eFishery provides technology solutions for fish and shrimp farming. Its offerings include a smart feeder, a cloud-based dashboard, and a data platform to help farmers tackle issues such as risk management, supply inefficiency, lack of financing, and market access.
The Bandung-based startup is said to be seeking to raise around $15 million as part of a new funding round, which it expects to close soon. Both Northstar and Go-Ventures are understood to have carried out due diligence on the firm.
Earlier this month at DealStreetAsia’s Indonesia PE-VC Summit 2020, Northstar Group co-founder and managing partner Patrick Walujo briefly addressed what he described as “speculation of a big investment” into eFishery. While he neither confirmed nor denied the development, Walujo said his firm was eager to help the company grow.
“Our focus is now on how we can help to scale this product up to millions and millions of fish farmers. And their product now is not only in Indonesia but also in Vietnam and Thailand,” he said.
Walujo, whose firm was an early Gojek backer, has been speculated to have played a guiding role in the setting up of Go-Ventures in 2018 and some of its early investments.
eFishery had not returned a request for comment at the time of publishing this story. Go-Ventures could not immediately provide a comment, while Northstar said it cannot comment on market rumours.
Having raised a pre-Series A funding round in 2015 backed by local VC Ideosource and Dutch fund Aquaspark, eFishery raised $4 million in its Series A round at the tail-end of 2018. The round saw participation from a mix of regional and global investors including Wavemaker Partners and 500 Startups, Maloekoe Ventures, Social Capital, Unreasonable Capital and Triputra Group, as well as existing backer Aquaspark.
Since its last funding, eFishery, which has continued to market its Smart Feeder product, has also launched two more products, namely eFishery Fresh, a fishery commodity marketplace, and eFishery Fund that provides financing facilities for farmers.
In Indonesia’s aquaculture industry, eFishery is joined by fellow startup Aruna, which operates as an e-commerce platform for fishery products to create a fair trading ecosystem. Aruna bagged seed funding from UMG Idealab in 2017 and has recently been reported to have received investment from local VC firms East Ventures, SMDV and Agaeti.