INDONESIA-BASED agritech startup eFishery has raised an undisclosed amount in a Series B round co-led by private equity firm Northstar Group and Go-Ventures, a venture capital (VC) fund that has Gojek as its cornerstone investor.
Existing investors that also participated in the round include sustainable aquaculture investment fund Aqua-Spark and early stage enterprise and deep tech VC firm Wavemaker Partners.
Launched in 2013 and based in Bandung, eFishery offers an end-to-end platform providing fish and shrimp farmers with access to feed, financing and markets.
eFishery's products support tens of thousands of fish and shrimp farms in over 180 cities in 24 provinces across Indonesia. Currently, there are some 3.3 million fish farms across Indonesia.
"The company's ability to deliver fish farmers the latest in smart-hardware integrated with cloud-based mobile analytics is transforming a very traditional business in Indonesia," said Patrick Walujo, co-founder of the Northstar Group.
eFishery raised a pre-Series A round in 2015 and a Series A round in late-2018. The startup said it has been Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortisation)-positive over past two years.
Funds from the Series B round will be used for product development and expansion of the team. The company has more than 250 employees, and plans to double this headcount by the end of 2020.
eFishery will specifically focus on strengthening its product and engineering team to create new digital products and services, as well as develop its sales and customer experience team.
The money will also be invested into building stronger data capabilities and algorithms for eFisheryFeeder, a device that automates feeding while improving fish health and yield.
More than 10,000 ponds in Indonesia are currently supported by the eFisheryFeeder. The company is also piloting new sensors, including those specifically for shrimps, and aims to launch these new sensors later this year.
eFishery recently set up one-stop physical hubs located near the farmers to allow them to buy eFishery products, sell their fish, or participate in other engagement activities such as product training, demos or repairs.
Currently, there are 30 such hubs in Indonesia, and eFishery plans to open 100 new ones across Indonesia by end-2020. The company's most effective sales channel is marketing its products directly to the farmers by arranging field visits.
Gibran Huzaifah, co-founder and CEO of eFishery, said that although pilot trials for the company's products and services have been rolled out in Bangladesh, Thailand and Vietnam, its main focus for the remainder of 2020 will be to secure its position in Indonesia.
"Once we have built a strong and replicable model throughout Indonesia, we will then be ready to explore expanding regionally," he said.