Indonesian aquatic technology company eFishery has become its country’s latest unicorn after raising SGD 108 million in a Series D funding round led by United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based G42 Global Expansion Fund (42XFund). According to regulatory filings, eFishery could even raise up to USD 200 million in additional funding.
42XFund contributed SGD 1 million to the round, while SoftBank Vision Fund II contributed nearly SGD 5 million, according to documents filed by eFishery with Singapore’s Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA). Meanwhile, Northstar Group, a leading Southeast Asian private equity fund, invested SGD 3 million.
The company, which aims to have one million fish farmers as members of its “digital cooperative” by 2025, has more than 6,000 fish and shrimp farmers from 250 cities in Indonesia in its portfolio.
“According to eFishery’s latest impact report itsplatform can increase fish farmers’ income by up to 45% and that the total carbon footprint of their production is 92% lower than that of the meat industry.”
The term unicorn refers to a private startup company with a value of more than USD 1 billion. It is commonly used in the venture capital industry. The term was first popularized by Aileen Lee (founder of Cowboy Ventures in Palo Alto) in 2013.
Innovations in aquaculture
Founded in 2013, eFishery is Asia’s first aquaculture technology startup developing innovations in the field of aquaculture. As explained by the company, eFishery has disrupted traditional fish farming methods and provides cutting-edge solutions in the aquaculture ecosystem by offering a one-stop platform that provides access to feed, finance and market to fish and shrimp farmers.
eFishery aims to build an aquaculture ecosystem in Indonesia that is not only profitable, but also sustainable for fish farmers, buyers and all stakeholders, according to its management.
Since its inception in 2013, when it launched its digitally controlled “smart feeder” for fish and shrimp farmers, eFishery has expanded its offering to include an “end-to-end” digital system for managing fish and shrimp farming operations, as well as an online marketplace and access to financial services.
Linking producers directly to buyers
The services offered by eFishery aim to help fish farmers increase their productivity and, at the same time, create more sustainable practices for both the environment and the farmers themselves. Specifically, eFishery seeks to link more fish and shrimp farmers directly with buyers and thus with more competitive options when it comes to selling their products.
Indonesia is one of the world’s largest aquaculture producers. However, the country’s aquaculture industry has historically been linked to mangrove deforestation and inadequate waste management practices, among other problems.