Aquaconnect, a full-stack aquaculture platform announced today that it has raised $15 million (INR 120 crore) in a Series A funding round, led by Lok Capital, with participation from Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, Suneight Investment along with existing investors including Omnivore, Rebright Partners, Flourish Ventures, HATCH, AgFunder and other debt investors participated in the round.
Aquaconnect will utilise the fresh funds to strengthen its portfolio of scalable solutions that use artificial intelligence (AI) and satellite remote sensing and widen its service offerings in both the pre-harvest and post-harvest aquaculture value chain (to input retailers, seafood buyers and other stakeholders).
Aquaconnect aims to grow stronger in the pre-harvest chain by tripling its AquaPartners network to amplify the impact across India. Currently, the company has a network of over 500 AquaPartners (rural entrepreneurs who provide last-mile assistance), serving over 90,000 fish and shrimp farmers.
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Speaking on the expansion plans, Rajamanohar Somasundaram, Founder & CEO Aquaconnect said, “We’ve added about 500 AquaPartners in the last 12 months and this phygital network has helped us scale phenomenally across six major aquaculture production states. In the next 12 months, we are set to triple our AquaPartners’ network across India and optimise our service offerings.”
Aquaconnect has built a robust logistics infrastructure in India’s rural and coastal regions to meet last-mile connectivity. The superior supply chain capabilities and fulfilment centres in multiple strategic locations are helping Aquaconnect to enable overnight delivery to its partners.
In the post-harvest chain, the company aims to scale its seafood market linkage across domestic markets in India. Further, Aquaconnect plans to accelerate seafood exports to the top import markets like the US, China and Japan and capture a significant share in the blue protein segment, globally.
“We have been operating our domestic market linkages and overseas exports under stealth. As our pilots have shown great success, our team is geared up to scale the success we have achieved and enhance our B2B offerings in the next 12-18 months”, added Rajamanohar Somasundaram.
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“Aquaculture is a great means for smallholder farmers to enjoy significant upward economic mobility. While Aquaculture might seem like a niche Agtech space, it is the sunrise sector in India showing double-digit YoY growth with a $15B market opportunity. However, the industry is hampered by inefficiencies in the value chain and poses a huge scope for tech disruption. Yet its true potential is untapped. Aquaconnect, with its deep-tech intervention, has the potential to disrupt the Indian aquaculture value chain and emerge as a key player in the growing blue food segment. We are excited to be a part of Aquaconnect’s growth, while it chases its aspiring goals and scales its operations in the domestic and global markets,” said Hari Krishnan, Partner, Lok Capital.
Lok Capital has been investing since 2007 in India and has deployed over 250m USD so far across three funds. Currently, Lok Capital is investing out of its fourth fund, focusing on fintech, climate-tech, agritech and health-tech across Series A and B rounds.
“Next 12-18 months will be challenging and exciting at the same time, the fresh funds will help us accelerate our efforts and strengthen tech capabilities and bring efficiency and transparency in the aquaculture value chain,” said Rajamanohar Somasundaram.
In July last year, Aquaconnect had raised $4M in a pre-Series A round from Rebright, Flourish Ventures and AgFunder.