Aqua farmers’ network, Aquaconnect, has raised $4 million (Rs 29.7 Crore) in a pre-Series A round led by Rebright Partners and Flourish Ventures.
AgFunder and 6G Capital also participated in this round, along with existing investors Omnivore and HATCH.
Aquaconnect’s digital platform helps fish and shrimp farmers maximize their income by connecting them with smart farm management tools, financial services and customers.
Aquaconnect’s mobile app features predictive SaaS tools for pond management, which improve productivity and help farmers avoid disease risks.
This farm data intelligence is then leveraged by Aquaconnect’s omnichannel marketplace, allowing farmers to transact directly with farm input manufacturers, banks, insurance companies, and certification bodies.
Aquaconnect’s post-harvest market linkage solution helps shrimp and fish farmers sell their traceable and certified produce to buyers across the globe.
Aquaconnect currently works with over 30,000 aquaculture farmers across Andhra Pradesh, Odisha, Gujarat, and Tamil Nadu.
Despite India being the world’s largest exporter of shrimp and second largest aquaculture producer globally, the industry is fraught with various challenges ranging from unscientific farming practices to inefficiencies in the value chain.
Aquaconnect’s full-stack platform provides a 360-degree solution for aquaculture farmers. The startup plans to use this pre-Series A funding to strengthen their GIS-enabled fintech product development and accelerate the volume of exports flowing through the platform. They intend to launch their Series A round in six to nine months.
Aquaconnect Founder & CEO Raj said, “The recent investment from marquee investors like Rebright, Flourish, AgFunder, and others is a strong validation of our goal to become India’s largest aquaculture value chain aggregator, and will help us scale up in both size and scope.”
“We will deploy the fresh capital to scale our farm advisory, financial services, and marketplace for seafood exports,” he added.
Rebright Partners General Partner Brij Singh said, “We are backing Aquaconnect to help enable digital transformation in India’s aquaculture industry by supporting all stakeholders to increase exports of high-quality seafood with traceability to key markets like Japan.”
Flourish Investment Director Anuradha Ramachandaran said, “Flourish is proud to back Aquaconnect. Raj and his team have developed a platform that uses data and technology to help farmers maximize their income, access financial services and connect with customers.”
“Aquaconnect is a compelling example of how financial services that are integrated with popular platforms can empower small businesses and enhance their owners’ livelihoods, reflecting the importance of embedded finance as an investment thesis for Flourish,” he added.
Chennai-based Aquaconnect was founded in 2017 by Rajamanohar “Raj” Somasundaram, an IIT Kanpur alumnus. Before starting Aquaconnect, Raj founded Hexolabs, a mobile VAS company, that operated across 15 countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa.
Aquaconnect’s leadership team includes industry veterans from consumer internet, BFSI, and data science backgrounds. Arpan Bhalerao, the Chief Growth Officer, is an IIT Madras and Indian School of Business alumnus, who previously served as an AVP at Urban Company.
Karthivelan, the Chief Operating Officer, is a seasoned banker, while Venkatesan OV, an MIT TechReview recognised data scientist, leads the technology and data sciences team.