All geared up to tackle the US$5.4bil aquaculture market
IoT startup aims to make fish feeding more efficient and accountable
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INDONESIA’S eFishery, a smart fish feeder manufacturer, said it has secured pre-Series A funding from Dutch aquaculture investment fund Aqua-spark and Indonesian venture capital (VC) firm Ideosource.
eFishery did not disclose the investment amount, but said the funds would be used to scale its distribution network nationwide, and also to ramp up manpower.
“eFishery is a perfect example of a company that is solving real problems in a lucrative market,” said Andrias Ekoyuono, vice president of business development at Ideosource.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation, more than 96% of fish farming activities worldwide is concentrated in Asia. In Indonesia alone, the overall market size for aquaculture is US$5.4 billion.
As an Internet of Things (IoT) startup for fish and shrimp farming, the Indonesian firm said it is tackling one of the largest challenges in commercial aquaculture: Feeding operations.
Fish feeding traditionally makes up between 50% and 80% of fish farming overhead costs, eFishery said in a statement.
Overfeeding negatively impacts the environment in many ways, as a great deal of fish food ultimately goes to waste. It also harms the health of a farmer’s stock. Underfeeding means fish may not survive.
The result of unmeasured and inexact fish feeding methods on a commercial scale inevitably means economic losses for farmers, the company said.
eFishery offers a transformative, affordable, tech-based solution to solve the problem, in the form of an automatic smart feeder that uses sensors to measure fish appetite and appropriate feed amounts.
Designed for both small and large-scale farmers, the system can sense appetites, automatically distribute feed, and give real-time reports of consumption on the farmer’s smartphone, the company claimed.
“The problem we are solving is the inefficiency of feeding in the fish farming business,” said eFishery cofounder and chief executive officer Gibran Chuzaefah Amsi El Farizy.
“I saw the problem when I was a fish farmer myself. Fish feeding is done inefficiently by labourers, and farmers don't have any technology to control the feeding yet.
“We built this product to make the fish and shrimp farming business more efficient, convenient, and accountable,” he added.
eFishery said it makes makes money from selling smart feeders to farmers and distributors. It also charges a monthly subscription fee for the software used to monitor and analyse fish feeding activities in real-time via tablet or smartphone.
On average, its smart feeding system reduces the amount of feed used by 21%, the company claimed.
eFishery said it has sold hundreds of units in the past two years, and currently has over 17,000 fish and shrimp farms in its pipeline, which include orders from Thailand, Singapore, India, China, Brazil, and countries in Africa.
“We are very excited to solve the global challenge of fish feeding with eFishery,” said Aqua-spark partner Amy Novogratz.
“Indonesia has about 3.3 million fishponds and 2.7 million fish farms. When brought to scale, it could have a massive impact across a global industry plagued by this challenge.
“It has the potential to set a new standard for aquaculture and make the industry more transparent, data-driven, and accountable – all factors that will make businesses in this sector more investment-friendly,” she added.
eFishery said it will use the newly acquired capital for three purposes: To engage distributors, find local partners, and expand its market share aggressively in Indonesia.
It is also developing a software-side platform, and will create a better dashboard for customers, as well as add more features and fish compatibility for its device.
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