[Inc42] Aquaconnect Bags $15 Mn To Streamline Aquaculture Value Chain

Originally posted on Inc42

By Chetan Thathoo

The funding round saw participation from Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, Suneight Investment, Omnivore, AgFunder, Rebright Partners, Flourish Ventures and HATCH

The startup will use the funds to expand its service offerings in both the pre-harvest and post-harvest value chain

In March, the startup bagged $8 Mn in a venture debt funding round led by Trifecta Capital

Chennai-based full stack aquaculture platform, Aquaconnect, has raised $15 Mn (INR 120 Cr) in a Series A funding round led by Lok Capital. The round also saw participation from new investors Louis Dreyfus Company Ventures, Suneight Investment; existing investors Omnivore, AgFunder, Rebright Partners, Flourish Ventures and HATCH, and other debt investors.

The startup will use the funds to strengthen its portfolio and expand its service offerings in both the pre-harvest and post-harvest aquaculture value chain.

“Next 12-18 months will be challenging and exciting at the same time. The fresh funds will help us to accelerate our efforts and strengthen tech capabilities and bring efficiency and transparency in the aquaculture value chain,” said Aquaconnect’s chief executive officer and founder Rajmanohar Somasundaram.

Chiming in, partner, Lok Capital, Hari Krishnan, said, “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.”

Founded in 2017 by Somasundaram, Aquaconnect is a full-stack platform that helps aquaculture farmers grow their earnings with the help of smart farm management tools. Through its deeptech offerings and embedded fintech services, Aquaconnect claims to help supercharge the entire aquaculture value chain and scale its clients’ businesses.

This is the second funding round raised by the company this year. In March, the startup bagged $8 Mn in a venture debt funding round led by Trifecta Capital. In July 2021, the Chennai-based company secured $4 Mn in a pre-Series A round.

The startup is backed by marquee names such as Japan’s Rebright, Ireland-based HATCH, homegrown venture capital fund Omnivore, Flourish ventures, and AgFunder, among others.

The startup claims to have added nearly 500 partners in the last 12 months and scaled its operations ‘phenomenally’ across six major aquaculture production states. The startup aims to triple its network of partners across the country in the next 12 months.

At present, Aquaconnect claims to have a network of more than 500 partners and caters to more than 90,000 fish and shrimp farmers. The startup largely competes with players such as B2B-focused animal protein marketplace Captain Fresh.

India’s aquaculture market is largely unorganised and led by local players or the already established players. On account of seafood being perishable and in the absence of storage facilities, the space has great potential to scale up in the near future. As per a report, the Indian aquaculture market generates revenue to the tune of $15.4 Bn in 2020.

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