Indonesian organic farm-builder startup iGrow announced today that it has received an undisclosed amount of seed funding from East Ventures and 500 startups. Prior to this round, iGrow had already received $125,000 in investment from 500 startups.
The company plans to use the fresh cash to expand overseas, specifically to Turkey and Japan.
Jim Oklahoma, chief of business development of iGrow said that Japan is an “interesting option”. It is currently on discussion to partner with a local organization in the country.
“We are also closely looking on Turkey, as it will be the best place to plant olives, one of our current crops,” Oklahoma said in a statement.
Despite overseas expansion plans, the company also sees huge growth opportunity at home. iGrow is currently farming in about 1,000 hectares underutilized land. By comparison, there is still 16 million hectares of underutilized land in Indonesia.
iGrow was founded by Oklahoma, Muhaimin Iqbal, and Andreas Senjaya in 2014. The platform allows investors to connect with farmers directly, allowing them to choose for crops they wish to invest in based on budget and expected return.
The farmers then plants the crops while iGrow team monitors and uploads the process through the platform. Once the crops are harvested, it will be sold to iGrow’s partner merchants and both the investors and the farmers share their profits.
In other words, it allows users to play Facebook popular game “Farmville” for real.
With the innovation, iGrow has employed more than 2,200 farmers in a 1,200 hectares of land. It has also harvested more than 350 tons of high-quality crops. Going forward, the startup has already allocated US$1.4 million for planting in the Buleleng, Blitar, Garut, Jonggol, and Banten regions.