Aruna Fisheries Startup Will Raise Funding in 2020 to Expand
Aruna, a fishery startup, plans to raise funding at the end of this year and 2020. The funds are planned to be used to expand the market and increase the number of fishing partners. Aruna Farid CEO Naufal Aslam said year-end funding would be used to strengthen technology.
Then, the investment next year is planned to be used to support market expansion. “We need to reorganize our business model, so there could be funding next year,” Farid said during the 2019 Indonesia Digital Conference, in Jakarta not long ago.
However, he was reluctant to explain the funding targets and the country or region of Aruna’s expansion. Farid also wants to increase the number of fishermen partners. At present, the company has around 5 thousand fishing partners in 17 cities/regencies in Indonesia.
The majority are in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, and Papua. “We want (our services) to spread to many regions. Thus, the services are not only concentrated in a few regions,” he said. He considered the potential of fisheries in Indonesia is very large. This means many fishermen can join.
Aruna Was Rumored to Receive Funds from SoftBank
Farid claims that his company is capable to increase fishermen’s income eight times yearly (year on year/YOY). He stated that Aruna’s transactions grew 16 times during the third quarter of 2019. Previously, investors from SoftBank were rumored to be going to investing in Aruna.
Nevertheless, this fishery startup is reluctant to comment much on the news. Farid just confirmed that his company was looking for funding. And, Aruna also had a prize of 60,000 Singapore dollars since it was won the social innovation competition organized by Alipay-NUS Enterprise.
NUS Enterprise, Alipay, International Finance Corporation (IFC) and other supporting partners will also help Aruna develop ideas related to its services. Farid also said that Indonesia has great potential in the fisheries sector. That’s why many global investors are interested.
He is also optimistic that he can become a market leader in this sector in the next five years. Moreover, the demand for fishery products from fishing partners has reached international markets such as several countries in Southeast Asia, China, and the US.
He considered that China and the US are potential markets, especially for crabs and lobsters. “Maybe this is the effect of a trade war, many countries lack supply. This is Indonesia’s opportunity. The percentage (demand) in China even rose by 30-40%,” he said.
Aruna Planned to Expand to Some Countries in Europe
Going forward, Aruna plans to target countries in Europe. He reported that the average fishermen’s income is only IDR 1 million to IDR 2 million per month. After joining Aruna, the income has risen to IDR 6 million to IDR 7 million per month.
In Papua, we can get IDR 400 thousand per day. Some even get up to IDR 15 million per month,” he said. When it comes to expansion, the company targeted to reach 28 to 30 points throughout Indonesia at the end of this year.
“We are already in 15 points. And, by the end of this year, our target is to reach 28-30 (points). The new points will be mostly in Sulawesi, Kalimantan, and Papua, from the middle to the east,” Farid said some time ago.
The wider service area, Farid said, will make more fishery export commodities. This will certainly make Indonesian fishermen more prosperous. To make the process of selling fishery commodities easier in the regions, Aruna employs young people or so-called local heroes.
At present, there are 20 local heroes and it is targeted to reach 30 people by the end of this year. The startup, which was established in 2016, facilitates the flow of fisheries buying and selling for fishermen with the help of local heroes.