Indonesian fishery platform Aruna said to be in talks with Prosus to raise up to $30m

Aruna point center to engage with fishers, introduce Aruna solution, and build the community. Photo from Aruna documentation

Indonesian integrated fishery platform Aruna is said to be in talks with global investor Prosus Ventures to raise fresh funding in the region of $20-30 million, according to people familiar with the matter. 

Prosus Ventures is likely to come on board as the lead investor in the round, DealStreetAsia has learnt.

The fresh capital injection would enable the company to double down on its business after it claimed to have achieved an 86-fold jump in its revenue in the first half of 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.

Meanwhile, for Prosus, an investment in Aruna would add to its two existing portfolio companies in Indonesia. Prosus, formerly Naspers Ventures, made its first investment in Southeast Asia’s largest market in 2020 when it led a Series A funding round for logistics startup Shipper. In May, it participated in a $65 million funding for digital investment app Bibit.

Both Aruna and Prosus are yet to respond to a DealStreetAsia query seeking comment on the development. 

Founded in 2016, Aruna aims to create fair trading of seafood products, while also improving the livelihood of local fishermen. It has onboarded around 11,000 fishermen in the archipelago to its platform.

The started raised a seed round in 2017 from UMG Indonesia followed by a $5.5-million funding round from East Ventures, AC Ventures, and SMDV in 2020.

The proceeds from its last funding round were used to help the startup scale its operations into new domestic and export B2B markets. Aruna has been working with fishermen in coastal areas across the archipelago, helping them to get direct access to the B2B domestic and overseas markets.

In Indonesia, Aruna shares a space with another venture-backed startup eFishery, though the two focus on different solutions for fishermen.

eFishery, which started as an IoT feeder for fish/shrimp farming before expanding into other adjacent verticals, is backed by Go-Ventures and Northstar Group, among others. DealStreetAsia reported in May that the Bandung-based company is in talks with Sequoia Capital India and SoftBank to raise around $50-70 million for its Series C round.

Indonesia’s fisheries segment, among the most significant growth contributors, has a sustainable production potential of around 67 million tonnes per year, according to 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.

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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.