Semaai, an agritech startup in Indonesia, has raised $2.9 million from its bridge funding round that it will use to further boost its initiative to expand the company’s product offerings and reach more underserved farmers and agri-retailers in the country.
With the additional funding, Semaai said it will now be able to help these farmers maximize their earning potentials as they also help revitalise rural agriculture in Indonesia.
The bridge funding round was led by Accion Venture Lab and XA Network and was also participated by existing investors like Surge, the rapid scale-up program by Sequoia India & Southeast Asia, and Beenext.
“Agri-MSMEs play an important role as aggregators and are often much more tech-savvy than farmers, but they lack an all-in-one solution for agronomy, product knowledge and price transparency. We believe that empowering them will help these businesses better serve farmers. We are thrilled to have Accion Venture Lab, XA networks, and our existing investors as they share our vision and belief in delivering impact,” said Muhammad Yoga Anindito, co-founder and CEO of Semaai.
Samaai provides an integrated digital ecosystem that addresses supply chain disruptions as it also fills the knowledge gaps for Indonesia’s agri MSMEs, including the rural agri-input retailers, known locally as toko tanis, and the smallholder farmers that they serve.
As a result of the very fragmented and complex agricultural supply chains, the toko tanis and farmers had to deal with opaque pricing, lack of access to affordable farming inputs, and the widening mismatch in the supply and demand of agricultural produce.
Semaai offers a solution that encompasses the three key services that address systemic issues that are currently affecting the country’s $100 billion agriculture industry.
The startup provides toko tanis and farmers with a B2B digital marketplace for agricultural inputs such as seed and fertilisers, access to better agricultural produce markets, and agronomy advisory services to help them improve their farming habits.
Rahil Rangwala, co-Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab, said farmers play an important role in Indonesia’s $100 billion agriculture sector and there is still a very huge opportunity to scale their businesses and improve their livelihoods by providing these farmers with the digital tools and credit that they badly need.
Since its official launch in August 2021, Semaai has been able to build a strong network of toko tanis and smallholder farmers in more than 2,980 villages in Central Java.
The number of active agri-retailer and MSME users on Semaai’s digital marketplace has already reached 2.6 million farmers in the region. Last year, monthly transactions on Semaai’s marketplace grew 37 times more while its monthly revenues increased 20 times. Semaai also purchases agriculture produce from its network of farmers and distributes these to large e-commerce companies in Indonesia.