Indonesia agritech organization raises $1.6mn to scale up farmer's income


Agritech firm Semaai from Indonesia has raised US$1.65 million in a bridge fundraising round that was co-led by Accion Venture Lab and XA Network. Previous investors like Beenext and Surge from Sequoia Capital India took part in the fundraising as well.

Semaai has now received US$2.9 million in investment overall.

Yoga Anindito, the CEO and co-founder of Semaai, stated in an interview with Tech in Asia that the company plans to use the additional funding to grow its farming outputs business with market connections. He thinks that by doing this, farmers and agri MSMEs will be able to earn as much money as possible.

“We will also expand digital advisory services for agri MSMEs and build new services to help them gain access to agriculture production equipment that is affordable and located close by,” Anindito explains.

Together with Abhishek Gupta and Gaurav Batra, Anindito, the former CEO of the agricultural wholesaler Hasana, created Semaai in April 2021.

Semaai started off concentrating on agricultural inputs before branching out to include on-farm (such as agri-advisory and agritech) and agricultural outputs (such as buying and selling crops).

The business offers a marketplace app for the sale of different agricultural goods, including seeds, fertiliser, pesticides, equipment, as well as services like harvesting and drone spraying.

Anindito added that Semaai also provides crops to B2C start-ups and large grocery chains. He would not, however, give the names of these businesses.

With the help of its collaborations with MSMEs and agri merchants, Semaai acquires goods and crops. Anindito said that the business had a 20x increase in revenue and a 37x increase in monthly transactions in 2022.

Over 3,000 communities currently have a Semaai presence, with a focus on Central Java. Anindito declared that it currently had no ambitions to grow outside of the province.

“We are aware that expanding into new areas in the agriculture sector is costly, so we focus on our services first. We don’t want to enter new area and sink,” he says.

Anindito thinks that the agritech industry is unaffected by the challenging present economic conditions since "everyone needs to eat" despite how they have harmed the startup industry over the past year.

His assertion is supported by the fact that about 29% of Indonesia's workforce works in the agricultural industry.

The CEO also underlines Semaai's dedication to sustainable growth since the company's inception. He continues by saying that the business has not altered its approach in response to the current economic climate.

“We do not lay off employees or cut wages. From day one we were quite conservative in terms of finances and disciplined in execution,” says Anindito.

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