Aquaculture for all

Indonesian aquaculture startup breaks records with $90 million raise

Shrimp Feeding systems Technology & equipment +9 more

Indonesian aquatech start-up eFishery* today announced that it has successfully closed a US$90 million Series C funding round, making it the largest fundraise by an aquaculture technology startup in the world.

Gibran Hu saifah, co-founder and CEO of eFishery (right), with a happy catfish farmer

The funds raised will be used to scale up eFishery’s platform and to strengthen its digital products, making it the largest digital “cooperative” for fish and shrimp farming. eFishery also aims to expand regionally, targeting the top 10 countries in aquaculture, such as India and China.

This round of investment was co-led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India, with participation from existing investors including the Northstar Group, Go-Ventures, Aqua-Spark, and Wavemaker Partners.

“Indonesia is one of the world’s largest producers of fish and we believe its aquaculture industry can play a meaningful role in feeding the world’s growing population,” said Anna Lo, investment director at SoftBank Investment Advisers, in a press release . “eFishery is pioneering the adoption of technology for local fish and shrimp farmers with a complete, integrated platform that supports them to improve productivity across feed supply, production, and the sale of fresh produce. We are delighted to be partnering with the eFishery team to support them to provide a reliable and sustainable supply of aquatic food products to Indonesia and beyond."

Based in Bandung, eFishery revolutionises traditional farming methods and provides solutions designed specifically to improve outcomes for fish and shrimp farmers. It offers an end-to-end platform providing farmers with access to (i) technology, (ii) feed, (ii) financing, and (iii) markets.

Since launching in 2013, the company has deployed thousands of smart feeders, serving over 30,000 farmers across 24 provinces in Indonesia. Despite the pandemic, eFishery scaled its network tenfold since December 2020, and deepened adoption of its fresh and feed services.

“With US$20 billion in market size, and a fragmented and complex supply chain, aquaculture is one of the largest and most attractive opportunities in Indonesia. eFishery’s product offerings spanning feeder devices, input feed procurement, and fresh output sales combined with farmer financing is the most comprehensive and strategic model to serve this market. Sequoia Capital India is impressed with the strong growth and fundamentals in the business, and excited about the future prospects of the company,” said Aakash Kapoor, VP, Sequoia India.

eFishery’s latest suite of cutting-edge products includes eFarm and eFisheryKu App. eFarm is an online platform that provides farmers with comprehensive and easy-to-understand information about their shrimp farming operations, while eFisheryKu is an integrated platform where fish farmers can purchase their farming supplies, such as feed, at competitive prices.

Farmers can also apply for a loan through eFund, which links fish farmers directly to financial institutions. A key component of eFund is Kabayan (‘Kasih Bayar Nanti’, translates to ‘Pay Later’), a service that provides fish farmers with financing that can be used to purchase fish farming needs through instalments. All processes are done seamlessly with just one app, eFisheryKu. To date, more than 7,000 farmers have been supported by this service, with the total loan approved exceeding US$ 28 million.

eFishery feeders at a shrimp farm in Subang, Indonesia

“We are focused on increasing farmers’ productivity. Through the introduction of new technologies, we’re streamlining the fish and shrimp farming business, making the industry more effective, efficient and sustainable. For example, our upstream technology, eFeeder, optimises yield days and increases farmers’ production capacity by up to 26% while also optimising feed efficiency by up to 30% through reducing time and labour costs. We also connect farmers with buyers via eFresh, our downstream technology, which increases their purchasing power. As a result, the solutions ecosystem lowers operational farming costs and increases the farmers’ income by up to 45%,” said Gibran Hu saifah, co-founder and CEO of eFishery.

“This new funding will allow us to scale our impact, expand regionally, and achieve our target of being a leading aquaculture technology company by improving the livelihoods of the farmers that we empower. We are excited to partner with Temasek, Softbank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India, who we believe can add a significant boost to our mission.”

Growing the team and building a stronger platform

Since the last funding round, eFishery has grown threefold, with more than 900 employees now onboard. Though it is headquartered in Bandung, more than half of the employees are located remotely, given the company’s permanent work from anywhere (WFA) policy.

“This funding will gear us to aggressively hire, especially for engineering and product development talent. We aim to recruit a thousand of new employees this year, not only to make an impact for the aquaculture industry in Indonesia, but also on a larger scale, to conquer the global aquaculture supply,” Gibran explained.

eFishery will be investing this Series C funding into growing its team and strengthening its products and operations in Indonesia. It will also extend its venture by expanding the business into regional markets. eFishery aims to acquire 1 million farmers in the next 3-5 years, and through its tech-driven solutions, eFishery will help to modernise farming techniques and improve outcomes.

“Our first and foremost vision is to feed the global community through aquaculture as this is the most efficient and highly nutritious source of animal protein. With 10 billion people to feed by 2050, we will better prepare this sector to be ready to feed the world,” Gibran concluded.

*eFishery and Hatch are both part of Aqua-Spark’s investment portfolio, but The Fish Site retains editorial independence.

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