Hyderabad, India, 30 June 2022: AquaExchange, a full-stack, tech-driven platform serving India’s multi-billion-dollar shrimp & fish ecosystem, has raised $3 million in Pre-Series A funding from Endiya Partners and Accion Venture Lab, with participation from existing investors. The company will deploy the capital in strengthening its technology, e-commerce operations & expanding its farm automation footprint to over 1 Lakh acres of farms by FY23 ending March 2023.
AquaExchange’s vision is to improve farmer productivity and livelihoods by ushering in AquaCulture 4.0 into India. Started in 2020, the company has already touched lives of thousands of Indian farmers with its patented tech and is demonstrating its value proposition to all stakeholders in the ecosystem.
The startup operates across the value chain through: a) Fintech enabled e-commerce platform – that offers high quality inputs at best prices directly from manufacturers; b) unique ‘Hardware-as-a-Service’ model for farm automation – smart, reliable and easy-to-deploy IoT devices under the brand name ‘NextAqua’ – on subscription basis – for automated feeding and 24×7 farm monitoring; and c) ‘Harvest-as-a-Service’ market linkage platform – that facilitates harvests at the farm-gate with transparent pricing and assured spot payments to the smallholder farmers.
AquaExchange has patents published for its power management tool “PowerMon” and its feed management tool “AquaBot.” PowerMon is the world’s first patented technology that empowers farmers with complete farm power monitoring and aeration control through the convenience of a mobile app. AquaBot, the world’s only moving auto-feeder that has been deployed at scale, allows farmers to efficiently feed their ponds while maintaining good feed conversion ratios (FCRs).
AquaExchange merged with the device manufacturer NextAqua, founded by Kareem and Kiran, earlier this year. Pavan and the core team comprising Hemasundar, Kareem and Kiran come with strong backgrounds in multinationals, building high impact teams in growth stage startups, consulting, industrial design, and manufacturing.
Pavan Kosaraju, Founder of AquaExchange, said, “At AquaExchange, the key focus is on adding value to the aquaculture farming process through the use of advanced technology. Our IoT devices and automatic feeders have been installed at scale and are helping farmers with higher reliability/efficiencies in terms of aeration and feed management, while at the same time providing RoIs within the first quarter of usage. We believe that future aquaculture farmers should be equipped with the right data at the right time to ensure higher crop successes and also increase farming productivity. This in turn will help the other industry players such as Banking, Financial Services, and Insurance Companies to work with farmers and, in the process, unlock industry-wide efficiencies.”
Dr Ramesh Byrapaneni, Managing Director of Endiya Partners, said, “We’re excited to back the brilliant team of AquaExchange in their vision to transform the aquaculture landscape in India and globally to benefit a large number of aqua farmers. With its differentiated proprietary technology for farm automation and power management, AquaExchange will not only help bring in efficiencies across the aquaculture value chain but also generate solid data-driven insights to bring in access to formal credit, that has largely remained elusive for the sector.”
Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion, said, “As rising inflation and supply chain disruptions make it harder for low-income families to put food on the table, it’s crucial that farmers are supported with the tools they need to sustain and grow their businesses. AquaExchange’s innovative technologies are addressing several pain points for India’s fish and shrimp farmers — including purchasing supplies, automating processes, and selling products — to ensure that farmers are empowered to continue feeding their communities.”
About Endiya Partners
Endiya Partners is an early-stage venture capital fund that invests in Indian product start-ups that are globally relevant. Leveraging deep domain expertise along with vast entrepreneurial and operating experience, the Endiya team plays a key role in co-creating scalable businesses. Endiya’s portfolio consists of disruptive and category-defining companies across SaaS, Healthcare, Fintech, and Deeptech sectors. Endiya’s current portfolio includes Darwinbox, Cure.fit, Kissht, Qapita, SigTuple, Steradian Semiconductors, Zluri, and Sugar.fit. Founded in 2015, Endiya Partners has $100M under management. For more information, visit: https://endiya.com/
About Accion Venture Lab
Accion Venture Lab is a leading early-stage impact investor in inclusive fintech startups. We believe that affordable, well-designed financial services enable economic growth and prosperity for underserved populations in the world. Accion Venture Lab invests globally in the most innovative models and technologies delivering quality financial services to underserved households and small businesses with the potential to scale. Backed by commercial and impact investors since the launch of its third-party fund in 2019, Accion Venture Lab has invested in 60 early-stage startups that operate in more than 35 countries worldwide. Accion Venture Lab is a part of Accion, a global non-profit committed to creating a financially inclusive world, with a trailblazing legacy in microfinance and fintech impact investing. Accion catalyzes financial service providers to deliver high-quality, affordable solutions at scale for the three billion people who are left out of – or poorly served by – the financial sector. For 60 years, Accion has helped tens of millions of people through our work with more than 200 partners in 63 countries. For further information, visit accion.org/venturelab.