Tech leaders are eyeing three agricultural technology or agritech startups in Indonesia as the country’s next unicorns: TaniHub, iGrow, and Karsa.
Dinta Sebayang, the Coordinator of the University of Jakarta’s Innovation and Business Incubator, said that these three startups are proving to be very promising. From an economic standpoint, Sebayang noted that agribusiness and agritech already present tremendous opportunities for the country, where around 38.52% of the labour force work in the agriculture sector.
TaniHub, a startup that provides farmers access to better prices and more customers, is leading the pack after raising $65.5 million for their Series B funding round in May 2021. In the same month, LinkAja, a state-backed e-wallet firm acquired PT iGrow Resource Indonesia (iGrow) for an undisclosed amount, with the aim to give access to a wider regional SME market segment.
Karsa, meanwhile, has found a steady footing in the country by providing farmers real-time data on their crops, aggregating information such as weather requirements, weather forecasts, lists of farm inputs suitable to crops, locations of nearby farm inputs retailers, prices of produce in nearby markets, and other news.
According to Rizqi Isnurhadi, the growth of agritech in Indonesia is a response to downtrends in the agriculture sector, which has seen a decreasing number of farmers over the last decade. Isnurhadi highlights that a combination of factors, including land scarcity and limited access to capital, have discouraged youth from pursuing farming as their primary occupation.
As early as 2014 and 2015, agritech startups have begun to attract many young people to rethink Indonesia’s agriculture sector. Today, most of Indonesia’s agritech initiatives are being led by men and women in their 20s and 30s. For instance, CEO Andreas Senjaya of iGrow is in his early 30s, while up-and-coming fishery startup Aruna’s CEO Farul Naufal Aslam is in his late 20s.
“Agriculture and food startups experienced good growth acceleration in the second half of this year. With the right innovations, this year could be a turning point in the development of Indonesian agriculture and food startups,” said Handito Joewono, Chairman of the Indonesian Technology Startup Association (Atsindo).
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