Indonesian venture-backed aquaculture and fishery sector startups eFishery and Aruna have hit the fundraising trail to raise fresh capital, sources privy to the development told DealStreetAsia.
eFishery and Aruna are said to be looking to raise a total of up to $90 million in their separate rounds.
Aquaculture startup eFishery is understood to be in talks with Sequoia Capital India and SoftBank to raise around $50-70 million for its Series C round. Meanwhile, fishery platform Aruna is said to be seeking around $20 million for its Series B round.
Sequoia Capital and eFishery CEO Gibran Huzaifah declined to comment while SoftBank and Aruna have yet to reply to a DealStreetAsia query seeking confirmation.
In what was seen as a sign of growing investor interest in the nascent sector, both Aruna and eFishery snagged funding around the same time in August 2020. Aruna secured $5.5 million in a Series A round from East Ventures, AC Ventures, and SMDV while eFishery raised an undisclosed amount in its Series B funding round led by Go-Ventures and Northstar Group.
Founded in 2013 by Gibran Huzaifah and Ihsan Akhirulysah, eFishery began as the IoT feeder for fish/shrimp farming. The company then diversified the business into eFishery Fresh (fishery grocery), eFisheryFeed (fish and shrimp feed), and eFisheryFund (loan facilitator for aquaculture farmers).
Per a DealStreetAsia report last year, Huzaifah expected e-Fishery’s revenue to grow four-fold by 2021 from 2020. Based on the ACRA document, the company’s revenue in 2018 stood at $59,675, up 81% from $32,892 in 2017.
Meanwhile, Aruna, set up in 2016, claims to have clocked a whopping 86-fold jump in revenue in the first half of 2020 from the same period in 2019. This is despite the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on its export income from China, which contributes to its revenue significantly.
Aruna, which connects fishermen with buyers to ensure fair trading opportunities, currently has around 11,000 fishermen in the archipelago on its platform.
“Aquaculture startups [like eFishery and Aruna] have helped consolidate and shrink the multiple layers in the supply chain by making the whole process more efficient, faster and reliable. They are similar to agritech startups who provide reliability around the demand for farmers and transparency around pricing,” according to an executive from a global venture capital firm.
Indonesia’s fisheries segment, among the most significant growth contributors, has a sustainable production potential of around 67 million tonne per year, according to the data from Central Statistics Agency. The fisheries sector’s contribution to total GDP reached 2.8% based on 2020 price, up 0.15% compared to 2019.