Indonesia's AgTech startup Semaai raises US$1.25 mil funding

  • Sequoia Capital India, Beenext led this round
  • Funds to strengthen team, deepen distribution, expansion

(L-R) Semaai founders Gaurav Batra, Abhishek Gupta, Muhammad Yoga Anindito Indonesian AgTech startup Semaai, has raised US$1.25 million (RM5 million) in its pre-seed funding round led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India’s rapid scale-up program for startups in Southeast Asia and India, and Beenext. 

Angel investors Nipun Mehra, founder and CEO of e-commerce startup Ula; Harshet Lunani, founder and CEO of Qoala; and Prashant Pawar, technology investment banker at Houlihan Lokey also participated in this round.

With the funding, Semaai plans to strengthen its team, deepen its distribution systems and expand across Indonesia, it said in a statement.

The startup is building a full-stack agri-tech solution to help farmers and rural micro small and medium business (MSME) maximise their earning potential and revitalise rural agricultural communities in Indonesia. 

Despite their contribution to Indonesia’s economy, these farmers and rural MSMEs find it extremely difficult to sustain their livelihoods and take advantage of the growing middle class demand for diversified food products, it said.

This is due to the fragmented and complex agricultural supply chains in Indonesia, which leads to opaque pricing, lack of access to affordable farming inputs, and a huge mismatch in supply and demand, the company said.
Founded in April 2021 by Muhammad Yoga Anindito, Abhishek Gupta and Gaurav Batra, Semaai said it offers a comprehensive suite of services for rural agricultural communities.

The startup is said to provide customised consultancy through its team of expert agronomists, access to productivity tools such as soil testing technology as well as fairly priced farming inputs such as seed and fertiliser products.

Co-founder Muhammad Yoga Anindito said digitalisation of upstream agri-MSMEs has the potential to be a game-changer for the Indonesian agri-ecosystem. 

“At Semaai, we believe in harnessing technology to transform the way smallholder farmers and small businesses operate, and equip them with the necessary tools and skills to maximise their profits.

“We are confident that together with our experienced team and unique online-to-offline approach, we can grow exponentially to deliver meaningful impact to more farmers,” said Anindito.
Semaai said it planned to expand its network of service delivery centres to deploy their services, starting with toko tanis (agri-retailers) and eventually reaching the vast number of smallholders in rural Indonesia. 

In just five months since launch, Semaai claimed to have seen the gross merchandise value of products sold to agri-retailers and MSMEs increase by tenfold.

The startup said it aims to deliver its services and impact up to 100,000 smallholders and rural MSMEs by next year.


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