Agriculture and Fisheries (Agritech) Compete to Grab Investors’ Attention
A number of investors assess the opportunities for startups in the agriculture and fisheries (agritech) sector to grow very large. The number of players and technology adoption in this field is predicted to be massive, especially during the corona pandemic.
AC Ventures Founding Partner Pandu Sjahrir revealed two trends in the agritech sector. First, many of the best overseas university graduates have entered this field. Second, the adoption of technology in the Indonesian fisheries sector is starting to become massive.
Modern agriculture like that is already happening in China. In Panda Country, this sector is decorated with advanced technology such as artificial intelligence (AI), fifth-generation internet networks (5G), drones to e-commerce specifically for food.
In Indonesia, “(change) is going to happen sooner than you think. This is being done (by a number of Indonesian startups),” said Pandu. Based on the CompassList report entitled ‘Indonesia Agritech Report 2020’, there are four types of agricultural and fisheries startups in the archipelago, namely financing, technology development, e-commerce, education, and mentoring.
Specialized Agriculture Fintech are Active in Providing Credit to Indonesian Farmers
In the financing sector, there are at least five financial technologies (fintech) that provide credit to farmers, namely iGrow, TaniFund, Crowde, Vestifarm, and Tanijoy. Based on the official iGrow website, the total disbursed funding reached IDR 251.7 billion.
Loans that are still running or outstanding IDR 139 billion. iGrow identifies the most needed crops on the market, their price stability, and their characteristics. Then connect farmers and landowners that can be used, and open access to finance. Currently, the company employs more than 7,500 farmers on 2,500 hectares.
Meanwhile, Crowde offers capital loans for farmers with a crop deposit scheme. The targeted commodities are rice, corn, and chilies. The amount of the deposit is different for each commodity. Chili, for example, farmers who cultivate a land area of at least 2,500 square meters contribute 1.75 tons of harvest.
Then Vestifarm provides financing under a joint scheme. Funds collected Rp 41.94 billion for projects such as fattening beef cattle, vannamei shrimp and onion fields. Meanwhile, Tanijoy provides alternative financing, training and education, market access, and technology utilization in the agricultural sector.
This startup has distributed loans of IDR 6.9 billion. The total number of farmers who joined 1,820 with 109.4 hectares of managed land. Then TaniFund is a part of TaniGroup. This fintech has distributed financing of IDR 159.23 billion to farmers.
Apart from TaniFund, TaniGroup has an e-commerce platform specifically for vegetable, fish and meat products, namely TaniHub. Last September, TaniGroup Co-Founder and President Pamitra Wineka claimed that the farmer partners’ average income increased by 20-25% after joining.
In the e-commerce sector, at least TaniFund competes with nine other players in Indonesia. They include HappyFresh, Sayurbox, Brambang, Tukangsayur.co, 8Villages, Chilibeli, Kedai Sayur, Etanee, and Kecipir.
Fishery Startups are also Thriving Amidst the Pandemic
Meanwhile, e-commerce specifically for fishery products, namely Aruna and FishOn. Aruna hooks thousands of fishermen in 31 locations, and exports seafood to 10 countries in Southeast Asia, East Asia, North America and the Middle East. Domestically, the products are sold through Tokopedia and Shopee.
Last August, Aruna also received funding of US$ 5.5 million or around IDR 81.2 billion from East Ventures, AC Ventures, and SMDV. This additional capital comes amidst business growth that reached 86 times, despite the coronavirus pandemic.
In the field of technology development, there are at least five players. First, eFishery, which obtained series B funding from Go-Ventures made by Gojek, Northstar Group, Aqua-spark, and Wavemaker Partners last August.
eFishery provides automatic feeding (auto-feeder) devices for fish and shrimp. The fresh funds obtained will also be used for product development and targeting 10-fold business growth.