Innovative Indonesian startup, eFishery, recently made headlines by securing $200 million in Series D funding, propelling its valuation to over $1 billion. With its groundbreaking smart feeding system for fisheries, eFishery is poised to revolutionize the global aquaculture industry. It is the goal of the firm, led by CEO Gibran Huzaifah, to increase the number of aquaculture ponds to one million in Indonesia by 2025.
The Rise of eFishery – Founded in 2013 in Bandung, West Java, eFishery quickly gained recognition for its mission to transform the aquaculture sector through digital innovation. CEO Gibran Huzaifah’s firsthand experience in the catfish farming business revealed the pressing need for efficient feed management. Traditionally, fish farmers allocated a significant portion of their production costs to manual feeding, resulting in inconsistent fish sizes.
Recognizing the untapped potential for digital solutions, Huzaifah developed eFishery’s smart feeding system. However, he initially faced skepticism from farmers who were not regular internet users. Overcoming this hurdle, eFishery embarked on an educational campaign, teaching farmers essential internet skills and showcasing the benefits of their technology.
Despite Indonesia’s already vast aquaculture industry, eFishery believes it has only reached 7-9% of its total potential. The company attributes this to several challenges, including regional fragmentation and differing business practices across the country’s 34 provinces. However, eFishery has successfully navigated these obstacles by embracing localization strategies and building relationships with local players.
Transforming Aquaculture Practices – With feeding accounting for 70-90% of total production costs in aquaculture, eFishery’s smart feeding system offers a game-changing solution. The eFisheryFeeder uses vibration sensors to determine when fish and shrimp need to be fed, allowing for completely hands-free feeding. The device gathers useful information on fish behavior, hunger, stock density, and mortality rate by enabling farmers to manage their ponds remotely using a smartphone app.
This comprehensive approach enables farmers to optimize feeding strategies, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity. Moreover, the automation of feeding significantly reduces the risk of nutrient runoff and water pollution caused by overfeeding. By addressing these critical issues, eFishery is paving the way for more sustainable and efficient aquaculture practices.
Implications for Indonesia’s Economy – Indonesia boasts the second-largest fishing and aquaculture industry globally, trailing only behind China. As such, the company’s success has far-reaching implications for the country’s economy. According to a study by the Demographic Institute of the University of Indonesia (LDUI), eFishery contributed 1.55% to Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the aquaculture sector in 2022.
The World Atlas reports that Indonesia produces an impressive 5.8 million tons of fish annually. However, with eFishery’s innovative technology and ambitious goals, there is still enormous potential for growth and increased fish production in the country. By leveraging sustainable practices, promoting advanced techniques, and ensuring access to quality fish seed, eFishery aims to enhance Indonesia’s position in the global aquaculture market.
Series D Funding and Strategic Partnerships – eFishery’s recent Series D funding round, led by Abu Dhabi-based 42XFund, solidifies its position as a unicorn startup with a valuation exceeding $1 billion. Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan), the largest public sector pension fund in Malaysia, Swiss asset management responsAbility, and 500 Global were also prominent participants in the financing round. Northstar Venture Partners, Temasek, and SoftBank, among others, have all come back to invest in eFishery’s expansion. For this round of financing, Goldman Sachs was the sole financial advisor.
This substantial investment will enable eFishery to scale its operations and expand into international markets. With its sights set on becoming a global leader in aquaculture technology, eFishery plans to export fully traceable, antibiotic-free shrimp, showcasing Indonesia’s commitment to sustainable and environmentally-friendly practices.
Thriving Aquaculture Startup Ecosystem – eFishery’s success is not an isolated phenomenon in the Indonesian aquaculture startup ecosystem. Several other startups have recently secured funding and are addressing various aspects of the industry. For instance, Aruna, a sea-to-table platform, raised $35 million in funding led by Prosus and East Ventures Growth Fund, while Delos and FishLog have also attracted significant investments.
This vibrant ecosystem, coupled with eFishery’s groundbreaking advancements, bodes well for the future of Indonesia’s aquaculture industry. By fostering collaboration between communities, the government, and institutions, the country can improve its fishery operation infrastructure, increase export volumes, and enhance product quality.
The Future of Aquaculture with eFishery – eFishery’s remarkable journey from startup to unicorn status is a testament to the transformative power of digital innovation in the aquaculture industry. With its smart feeding system, the company is spearheading a paradigm shift, optimizing feeding practices, reducing costs, and promoting sustainability.
As eFishery expands its reach both within Indonesia and internationally, it is poised to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of aquaculture. By leveraging technology, fostering strategic partnerships, and championing sustainable practices, eFishery is paving the way for a more efficient, productive, and environmentally-conscious aquaculture sector.
Q: What is eFishery’s smart feeding system? A: eFishery’s smart feeding system, known as the eFisheryFeeder, automates the distribution of feed to fish and shrimp in aquaculture ponds. The system uses vibration sensors to gauge the animals’ appetite, ensuring optimal feeding while reducing manual labor and costs.
Q: How does eFishery’s technology benefit fish farmers? A: eFishery’s technology empowers fish farmers by providing them with real-time data on fish behavior, appetite, and stock density. This information allows farmers to optimize feeding strategies, reduce costs, and improve overall productivity.
Q: What challenges does eFishery face in Indonesia’s aquaculture industry? A: eFishery faces challenges such as regional fragmentation, differing business practices across provinces, and the need for localization strategies. However, the company has successfully navigated these obstacles through partnerships with local players and a deep understanding of the Indonesian market.
Q: How does eFishery contribute to Indonesia’s economy? A: According to a study by the Demographic Institute of the University of Indonesia (LDUI), eFishery contributed 1.55% to Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP) in the aquaculture sector in 2022. By enhancing fish production and promoting sustainable practices, eFishery plays a vital role in driving economic growth in the country.
Q: What is eFishery’s vision for the future? A: eFishery wants to increase aquaculture ponds in Indonesia to a million by 2025 and expand its operations overseas. The company envisions becoming a global leader in aquaculture technology, exporting fully traceable, antibiotic-free shrimp while promoting sustainability and environmental preservation.
Q: How has eFishery secured funding for its growth? A: eFishery recently raised $200 million in Series D funding, led by Abu Dhabi-based 42XFund. The funding round also attracted participation from prominent investors such as Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (Diperbadankan), responsAbility, and 500 Global. Existing investors, including Northstar, Temasek, and SoftBank, also reinvested in eFishery’s vision.
Q: What other startups are contributing to Indonesia’s aquaculture industry? A: Alongside eFishery, startups like Aruna, Delos, and FishLog have secured significant funding to address different aspects of the aquaculture industry. These startups contribute to the vibrant ecosystem, fostering innovation and driving growth in Indonesia’s aquaculture sector.