Indonesian agtech start-up Semaai raises US$4.7 million to strengthen digital solutions in Central Java

By Gary Scattergood

- Last updated on GMT

Indonesian agtech start-up Semaai raises US$4.7 million to strengthen digital solutions in Central Java

Related tags Agtech Funding

Indonesian agtech start-up Semaai has raised US$4.7 million in a mix of equity and debt financing to expand its digital offerings for farmers and agri retailers in Central Java.

CyberAgent Capital led the investment round with participation from new investors, namely Sumitomo Corporation Equity Asia, Ruvento, MyAsiaVC and Heracles Ventures. Semaai's existing investors, Peak XV's Surge, Accion Venture Lab and Beenext, also participated.

Semaai's total funding has now reached US$7.6 million.

The firm claims to have had a bumper 12 months with net revenue increasing by more than fifteen-fold. Its Toko Tani marketplace, which helps farmers and rural agricultural shop owners in Indonesia to maximise their earning potential and gain access to better financing, services, and new markets, has seen users double. Furthermore, its advisory feature has witnessed an eightfold increase in adoption in the last six months. 

Semaai plans to deploy the new funds to expand its agronomy advisory service to agri-retailers and farmers, collaborate with fintech institutions to provide advanced fintech solutions and strengthen its presence in Central Java. There are more than 8,2001 villages in the region, and Semaai plans to cover 75% of these villages by the end of 2024.

"With the new funding, our company will collaborate with financial institutions and fintech providers to expand our embedded fintech solutions, having already doubled Semaai's total transaction volume in the last twelve months," said Muhammad Yoga Anindito, Co-founder and CEO of Semaai. "This is part of our goal to provide an integrated digital ecosystem that addresses disruptions in the supply chain and fills knowledge gaps for Indonesia's agri-retailers and smallholder farmers."

GDP strength

"Agriculture is the third largest contributor to the overall Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in Indonesia. This certainly shows that the sector has massive opportunities, but unfortunately, it has been run traditionally without significant exposure to any digital adoption. As a result, productivity gains and development opportunities are left untapped. With the founding team's long experience in the agriculture sector, we are confident that Semaai will revolutionise the Indonesian agricultural sector through its offline-to-online approach, especially within the agricultural input material supply chain," said Kevin Wijaya, CyberAgent Capital, Director of CyberAgent Indonesia Office.

Indonesia's agricultural sector, together with forestry and fisheries, grew 1.46% on a yearly basis and 1.61% on a quarterly basis. Badan Pusat Statistik 2023 data shows that the agricultural sector contributed 12.71% of the total GDP.

Despite being one of the most significant contributors to the national economy, Indonesia's agricultural sector still faces several challenges, such as limited access to financing, long supply chains, and low technology adoption. To tackle the challenge, Semaai provides three essential services widely utilised by farmers and agri-retailers, namely a B2B digital marketplace for agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilisers; agronomy advisory services to improve their farming practices; and financial services in partnership with financial institutions and fintech providers.

Semaai's agronomy advisory service, which was launched earlier this year, has been adopted by most of Semaai's users. It gives access to a wide range of educational content, organised by crop type, focused on crop-related pests and diseases. The content aids users in thoroughly understanding the complexities of crop issues and empowers them to prepare to mitigate and address future problems. Users are then recommended products from Semaai's marketplace platform, culminating in doorstep delivery.

The firm added this blend of commerce and logistics incorporated into Semaai's advisory service is set to bring substantial value and benefits to agri-retailers and farmers utilising the feature.

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