Indonesia’s eFishery said to be in talks to raise funding from SoftBank, Sequoia, Temasek

Photo: Dan Gold / Unsplash.com

Indonesian aquaculture startup eFishery is in talks to secure Series C funding from investors including Sequoia Capital, Singapore state investor Temasek, and SoftBank, multiple sources told DealStreetAsia.

When contacted, eFishery co-founder and CEO Gibran Huzaifah declined to comment on the funding round and investors. The company, he said, is currently raising funds and will make an announcement in a few weeks.

According to one source, eFishery could raise around $80 million in the round.

SoftBank and Sequoia Capital declined to comment on this story. A Temasek spokesperson said the investor does not comment “on market speculation and rumours”. 

eFishery currently counts Northstar Group and Go-Ventures among its investors. The two VCs had co-led the company’s undisclosed Series B round in August last year, while Aqua Spark and Wavemaker Partners participated in the round.

According to DealStreetAsia – DATA VANTAGE, the company had raised $19.81 million in its Series B round. The data is based on the startup’s filings with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) and only reflects the equity funding secured by the company. 

eFishery had raised a pre-Series A funding round in 2015 backed by local VC Ideosource and Dutch fund Aqua Spark.

It later garnered $4 million in its Series A round in 2018. Regional and global investors including Wavemaker Partners, 500 Startups, Maloekoe Ventures, Social Capital, Unreasonable Capital, Triputra Group, and Aqua­ Spark had participated in the round.

eFishery started operations in 2013 as an IoT feeder for fish and shrimp farming. The IoT feeder records data on how much feed the aquaculture farmers must give their fish or shrimps.

The company then diversified into eFishery Fresh (fishery grocery), eFisheryFeed (fish and shrimp feed), and eFishery Fund (providing loans to aquaculture farmers).

The company utilises data from the IoT feeder for its eFishery Fresh business, which is currently the company’s biggest revenue generator. eFishery Fresh partners with third-party groceries, such as Sayurbox, and wholesalers.

“The feeder business will remain our anchor business. It provides us with Big Data, which we use for other businesses such as the marketplace and financing,” Huzaifah told DealStreetAsia. 

He said that eFishery had been profitable for the last three years. In 2020, the company grew its revenue three-fold from the previous year. Between January and August 2021, its revenue grew 5X year-on-year.

Thailand, Vietnam expansion

eFishery launched operations on a commercial pilot basis in Thailand last year, supported by the country’s SCG Group, the backer of AddVentures.

AddVentures was among the investors in eFishery’s Series B funding round.

eFishery is also targeting to expand to Vietnam around the first quarter of 2022.

“We want to achieve global scale. Therefore, we tapped the Thailand and Vietnam markets, which are similar to Indonesia,” Huzaifah added. However, in Thailand, farmers are vertically integrated with one big supplier, while in Indonesia and Vietnam, the farmers are spread everywhere and have smaller holdings, he said.

Nevertheless, Indonesia remains the main focus for eFishery. Currently, the platform has 17,000 farmers, who are mostly from Java Island. More farmers are also joining the platform from Sumatra. The company targets to acquire 200,000 farmers and 500,000 fish/shrimp ponds in 2022.

While eFishery enjoys the distinction of being the only VC-backed startup in Indonesia’s aquaculture space, the country’s maritime and fisheries industries have attracted several investors, lured by the growth in the value and volume of fish exports from the country.

The fishery and marine platform Aruna in July this year announced it has raised $35 million in a Series A round co-led by Prosus Ventures and East Ventures. The company, which connects fishermen with buyers, aims to create fair trading for seafood products that will improve the livelihood of local fishermen.

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.

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.

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.