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Startups

Indonesia aquaculture startup in talks for new funding

Bandung-based smart feeder eFishery looks to raise $15m

Indonesian startup eFishery provides technology for fish and shrimp farming, including a smart feeder, cloud-based dashboard and data platform.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia-based agritech startup eFishery is in talks with private equity firms Northstar and Go-Ventures, the venture capital arm of ride-hailing giant Gojek, to raise fresh funding, according to multiple sources.

Founded in 2013, eFishery provides tech-based solutions for fish and shrimp farming, including a smart feeder, cloud-based dashboard and data platform. These help farmers deal with risk management, supply inefficiencies, lack of financing and market access.

The Bandung-based startup wants to raise about $15 million as part of a new funding round, which it expects to close soon. Both Northstar and Go-Ventures are believed to have completed due diligence on the company.

Earlier this month, Northstar Group co-founder and Managing Partner Patrick Walujo briefly addressed what he described as "speculation of a big investment" in eFishery. While not confirming the development, Walujo said his firm was eager to help the company.

"Our focus is on how we can help scale this product to millions and millions of fish farmers," he said. "Their product is not only in Indonesia, but also Vietnam and Thailand."

Observers speculate that Walujo -- whose firm was an early Gojek backer -- played a guiding role in setting up Go-Ventures in 2018, along with advising it on some early investments.

After holding a pre-Series A funding round in 2015 backed by local venture capital Ideosource and Dutch fund Aquaspark, eFishery raised $4 million in its Series A round at the end of 2018.

The round drew a mix of regional and global investors, including Wavemaker Partners, 500 Startups, Maloekoe Ventures, Social Capital, Unreasonable Capital and Triputra Group, as well as existing backer Aquaspark.

Since its last funding, eFishery has launched two more products to join its smart feeder: eFishery Fresh, a fishery commodity marketplace; and eFishery Fund, a financing vehicle for farmers.

Indonesia's aquaculture industry also includes startup Aruna, a fair-trade e-commerce platform for fishery products. Aruna bagged seed funding from UMG Idealab in 2017 and has recently been reported to have received investment from East Ventures, SMDV and Agaeti.

eFishery did not answer a request for comment at the time of publication. Go-Ventures could not immediately comment and Northstar said it cannot comment on market rumors.

DealStreetAsia is a financial news site based in Singapore focused on corporate investment activity in Southeast Asia and India. Nikkei recently acquired a majority stake in the company.

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