WeAreAquaculture reported the rumours back in May that eFishery had reached “unicorn” status, valued at over US$1 billion.
Now the news is official, with the company’s announcement that it has secured US$200 Million from its Series D Funding round, taking it to a total valuation of US$1.4 billion, and splashing the remarkable story of small-scale fish farmer turned tech CEO Gibran Huzaifah across international mainstream press such as Bloomberg and Forbes.
In a statement announcing the successful funding round, the company quoted Huzaifah as saying, “Currently, Aquaculture is the fastest-growing sector in the global fisheries industry. The strategic support we receive from our investors will help us revolutionize the entire industry, especially by integrating Indonesian smallholder fish farmers into the eFishery ecosystem that spans the entire value chain.”
According to a company statement, eFishery intends to use the funding “to accelerate the company’s target of developing the cultivator community in Indonesia and increasing transactions in eFishery.” The company aims to include more than 1 million aquaculture ponds in Indonesia by 2025.
From small-scale fish farmer to global aquaculture player
According to Huzaifah, eFishery’s goal is to export fully traceable, chemical-free and antibiotic-free shrimp to international markets, while also strengthening the connection between end consumers and farmers.
“It was started as a simple idea 10 years ago, an inspiration that I had from running my own small-scale fish farms,” Huzaifah wrote in a LinkedIn post announcing the achievement.
“Growing up from a humble family background, I never dared much to have an ambitious dream that the small idea can be a big one. But I have been lucky enough to be surrounded by big-dreamers; passionate, impact-driven, and strong-willed eFisherian and investors that support me and my co-founder along the way. That’s what creates the collective force to amplify our impact in eFishery, to grow our community the size that we are now.”
This investment round was led by Abu Dhabi-based global fund manager 42XFund and backed by Malaysia’s largest public sector pension fund, Kumpulan Wang Persaraan (KWAP), Switzerland-based impact fund responsAbility, and early investor multi-stage venture capital firm 500 Global, with participation from existing investors including NorthStar, Temasek, SoftBank, Aqua-Spark, and others. The company also announced that Goldman Sachs is acting as eFishery’s exclusive funding advisor.
“Beyond our wildest dream”
The successful funding round has brought eFishery and Huzaifah into the global spotlight, as not only the first aquaculture technology company to reach “unicorn” status, but only the 15th Indonesian company to pass the US$1 billion valuation mark.
“Yes, the round positioned us to be the first company globally in aquaculture technology sector to surpass $1 billion valuation, but it’s irrelevant,” Huzaifah wrote in his LinkedIn post.
“What excites me is the additional partners and resources that we have now, which enable us to achieve more milestones, to get closer to our purpose: to solve world’s hunger problems, solve fundamental problems with technology, and grow with million of fish/shrimp farmers.”
“Looking back, this is already beyond our wildest dream back then, but since we’re here now, there’s no stopping us to dream even bigger.”
Founded in 2013, eFishery disrupts traditional fish and shrimp farming methods by providing state-of-the-art solutions in the aquaculture ecosystem by offering end-to-end platforms which provide access to feed, funding, and markets for fish farmers and shrimp farmers. eFishery aims to build an aquaculture ecosystem in Indonesia, which is not only profitable, but also sustainable for all stakeholders. The company has three main goals: solving food problems through aquaculture, addressing fundamental problems in the aquaculture industry by providing affordable technology, and reducing social and economic inequality through an inclusive digital economy.