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Aquaconnect to expand footprint, increase aqua partner network

Chennai: Full-stack aquaculture technology enterprise and market Aquaconnect is seeking to transfer past the three states that it operates in to broaden its footprint in different geographies in India whereas planning to extend its aqua accomplice community to round 1000 by the tip of this yr from the present 150 companions on the platform, Rajamanohar Somasundaram, founder and CEO of Aquaconnect informed ET.

The Chennai-based firm provides real-time, tech-based farm-monitoring options, consultations, aquaculture experience, and export market entry to coastal farmers. Aquaconnect claims to have grown 15x in income and has raised $4 million in pre-Collection A from Omnivore, Rebright Partners, Flourish Ventures, AgFunder, Hatch Blue, 6G Capital. Final month, Aquaconnect raised Rs 60 crore in a enterprise debt funding spherical led by enterprise debt agency Trifecta Capital.

“We’re presently working in three states in India – Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Odisha,” Somasundaram mentioned. “With our newest fundraise, we need to broaden into different geographies resembling West Bengal and Gujarat. We need to enhance our aqua accomplice numbers to about 1000 by the tip of this yr. Presently, now we have about 150 so we can be rising about 7x of that which suggests we’ll have the ability to serve near 150,000 fish and shrimp farmers in India.”

He mentioned the corporate is adopting a threat mitigation technique that is known as “boots on the bottom and eyes within the sky.” With this expertise resolution, Somasundaram mentioned that Aquaconnect can establish whether or not a pond is an aquaculture pond or not, whether or not it’s a fish pond or a shrimp pond and may even learn how lengthy the farmer has been doing aquaculture in that pond and what’s the date of tradition along with quite a few different pointers. By means of Aquaconnect’s options, he mentioned farmers have gotten higher worth realization for his or her produce by 5-10%

“With this, we’re capable of give you stronger enterprise use instances, one thing like now the feed producing firm can perceive what’s the demand and the consumers can now perceive the place they’ll purchase the shrimp or fish utilizing the information satellite tv for pc distant sensing. And at last, the information insights for the monetary establishments may be offered,” he mentioned.

He mentioned that this supplies underwriting capabilities for the bankers and monetary establishments to lend credit score merchandise to the farmers, enter retailers and consumers. Somasundaram mentioned that financing is likely one of the main challenges within the aquaculture worth chain and regardless of it being a multi billion greenback worth chain, banks and monetary establishments are staying away from the chance largely as a result of challenges in underwriting.

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“There’s a lack of formal capital and due to that, the worth chain stakeholders are borrowing at a really excessive rate of interest which may go as much as 36% or 48% curiosity,” he mentioned. “Formal monetary establishments can provide a decrease rate of interest which may be as much as 12% or 15%,” he mentioned. “With our deeper integration with the farmer community in addition to the customer and retailer community, we are actually ready to herald sure transparency on this worth chain. So with this transparency, we will usher in higher threat mitigation for monetary establishments.”

He added that the corporate has partnered with over 5 monetary establishments and two insurers to speed up fintech inclusion and threat mitigation in aquaculture. All in all, Aquaconnect has assisted over 60,000 aquaculture farmers with a 5x improve during the last 12 months, he mentioned.

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