Singapore, 27 February 2023 – Semaai, an AgTech startup based in Indonesia, today announced it has closed a bridge funding round led by Accion Venture Lab and XA Network, with participation from existing investors Surge, the rapid scale-up program by Sequoia India & Southeast Asia, and Beenext. The new round brings Semaai’s funding raised to date to US$2.9 million, and will support the company to expand product offerings for underserved farmers and agri-retailers to help them maximise their earning potential and revitalise rural agricultural communities in Indonesia.
Semaai provides an integrated digital ecosystem that addresses supply chain disruptions and fills knowledge gaps for Indonesia’s agri MSMEs such as rural agri-input retailers, known locally as toko tanis, and the smallholder farmers they serve. Due to fragmented and complex agricultural supply chains, both toko tanis and farmers must deal with opaque pricing, lack of access to affordable farming inputs, and a widening mismatch in the supply and demand of agricultural produce.
Semaai’s solution encompasses three key services that address systemic issues within the country’s $100 billion agriculture industry. It 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 improve their farming practices. The new funds will be used to support Semaai’s product expansion, which includes building digital advisory services for agri-retailers and farmers, as well as a new app to enable farmers to access agricultural inputs that are affordable and located nearby.
“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.
“Farmers play an important role in Indonesia’s $100 billion agriculture sector and we see a huge opportunity to provide the digital tools and credit needed to scale their businesses and improve their livelihoods. We’re excited to partner with Semaai as their full stack online marketplace accelerates the digital transformation of Indonesia’s small agri-retailers and the farmers they serve,” said Rahil Rangwala, co-Managing Partner of Accion Venture Lab.
Since its launch in August 2021, Semaai has built a strong network of toko tanis and smallholder farmers in more than 2,980 villages in Central Java, with the number of active agri-retailer and MSME users on Semaai’s digital marketplace currently serving 2.6 million farmers in the region. In 2022, monthly transactions on Semaai’s marketplace grew by 37 times, and monthly revenues for Semaai increased by 20 times. Semaai also purchases produce from its network of farmers and distributes it to large e-commerce companies in Indonesia. Profits from these sales are channelled back into the business, ensuring a sustainable cycle of growth.
Semaai is a ‘farmer-first’ company building full-stack agri-tech solutions to help farmers and rural MSMEs such as toko tanis in Indonesia to maximise their earning potential and gain access to better financing, services and new markets. Through a growing network of rural partner MSMEs, Semaai provides a full suite of agricultural services, such as customised consultancy, productivity tools, farming inputs such as seed and fertiliser products and access to better markets.
About Accion Venture Lab
Accion Venture Lab is a leading early-stage impact investor in inclusive fintech startups, focused on affordable, well-designed financial services that enable economic growth and prosperity for underserved populations in the world. It has invested in more than 60 early-stage startups operating in more than 35 countries, focusing on the most innovative models and technologies delivering quality financial services to underserved households and small businesses with the potential to scale.
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. Since 1961, Accion has increased access to inclusive financial services for tens of millions of people through its work with more than 200 partners in 63 countries. For more information, visit accion.org/venturelab.
Surge is Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia’s rapid-scale up program. Surge combines up to USD 3 Mn of seed capital with company-building workshops, a global curriculum and support from a community of exceptional mentors and founders. The program’s goal is to supercharge early-stage startups in India and Southeast Asia and give founders an unfair advantage, right out of the gate.
For more information on Surge, visit www.surgeahead.com.
About Sequoia Capital India and Southeast Asia
Sequoia helps daring founders build legendary companies, from idea to IPO to beyond.
Sequoia Capital India and Sequoia Capital Southeast Asia actively partner with founders from a wide range of companies, across categories, including BYJUs, CRED, Druva, Five Star Finance, Freshworks, GoTo, Groww, Kopi Kenangan, Mamaearth, Pine Labs, Polygon, Razorpay, Truecaller, Zomato and more.
We spur founders to push the boundaries of what’s possible. In partnering with Sequoia, startups benefit with over 50 years of tribal knowledge and lessons learned working with companies like Airbnb, Alibaba, Apple, Dropbox, Google, LinkedIn and Stripe early on.
From the beginning universities, endowments, and other non profits have been the backbone of our investor base which means founders’ accomplishments make a meaningful difference. For more information on Sequoia’s work in India and Southeast Asia visit sequoiacap.com/India and sequoiacap.com/sea.
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