Aquaculture Fintech Platform AquaExchange Raises $3 Mn From Endiya Partners and Accion Venture Lab
AquaExchange’s IoT-powered technology helps India’s shrimp and fish farmers improve productivity and increase profits
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 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, added, “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”.
“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, ” commented Michael Schlein, President and CEO of Accion.
According to market reports the global shrimp and fish markets are estimated to grow to $400bn by 2027. This market is at the threshold of a massive change in terms of technology adoption for efficient farming. Companies like AquaExchange are at the forefront in terms of ushering in AquaCulture 4.0 which is needed to facilitate such productivity increases.
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