Dutch aquaculture venture firm Aqua-Spark has invested $550,000 in eFishery, a manufacturer of smart fish feed technologies based in Bandung, Indonesia.
The investment was made alongside IdeoSource, an Indonesian venture capital firm.
A spokesperson for Aqua-Spark told Agri Investor the investment was not seed funding, “but rather an investment to scale the company”.
eFishery’s innovation is a system that can sense appetite, automatically distribute feed, and give real-time reports of fish food consumption via the cloud. It is designed for both small and large-scale farmers. The company says the system avoids overfeeding, which it says is one of the biggest causes of environmental damage. Across the industry, feed accounts for 50-80 percent of operation costs according to Aqua-Spark.
“Indonesia has about 3.3 million fishponds and 2.7 million fish farms. When brought to scale, it could have a massive impact across a global industry plagued by this challenge. It has the potential to set a new standard for aquaculture and make the industry more transparent, data-driven, and accountable,” Amy Novogratz, a partner at Aqua-Spark said in a statement.
The deal is Aqua-Spark’s third and follows investments in Calysta, a US biotechnology company cultivating an alternative source of fish feed and Chicoa Fish Farm, a tilapia producer in Mozambique, both announced in January 2015, valued at a combined $4 million.
Aqua-Spark manages an open-ended fund focused on investing in aquaculture small and medium enterprises globally. The firm closed its first round of fundraising on $10 million at the end of 2014 after getting commitments from 35 investors including a Dutch institutional investor. The firm previously told Agri Investor it is targeting $10 million every six months and hopes to have raised between $250 million and $400 million in 10 years’ time.
The firm’s minimum commitment is $250,000, rising to a maximum of $5 million, and it prefers to be a minority investor holding between 20 percent and 49 percent of a company.