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.