Wavemaker wins ‘VC Deal of the Year’ with eFishery, which raised US$90 for its Series C in 2022. Last year, Wavemaker also won the same award with Growsari, one of the Philippines’ best-funded startups to date

SINGAPORE, Sept. 22, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Wavemaker Partners, Southeast Asia’s leading venture capital firm investing in enterprise, deep tech, and sustainability startups, has won ‘VC Deal of the Year’ at the 30th Annual Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) Awards. This is the second year in a row that Wavemaker has bagged the award.

Wavemaker won VC Deal of the Year with eFishery, Indonesia’s largest digital cooperative for fish and shrimp farmers that entrepreneurs Gibran Huzaifah and Chrisna Aditya founded in 2013 to solve the problems of the country’s US$10 billion-per-year aquaculture production market.

“We invested in eFishery in 2018 and have been consistently impressed by what Gibran, Chrisna, and their team have accomplished. Against the odds and with little fanfare, they’re showing that it is possible to build a high-growth, high-impact, and high-margin startup. Their homegrown digital fishing cooperative is the first-of-its-kind in the world, and they’ve already managed to uplift the lives of more than 40,000 farmers. We are hopeful that they will inspire a new generation of entrepreneurs to launch meaningful, scalable, and sustainable businesses across Southeast Asia,” said Paul Santos, Managing Partner of Wavemaker.

Wavemaker has been around for a decade, working hand in hand with founders to create opportunities in Southeast Asia. Since 2012, it has backed 180+ companies, of which 160+ (85%) are in enterprise, deep tech and/or sustainability. The VC firm has over US$300 million in AUM across four funds in the region, and has seen more than 10 exits with an aggregate enterprise value of over US$700 million.

Gibran, eFishery’s co-founder and CEO, commented: “Since we started 9 years ago, we always positioned ourselves as a contrarian, entering agritech when most startups focused on consumer tech; built IoT while the rest built apps-only solutions; developed rural ecosystems while others served the urban market. We obsessively focused on solving fundamental problems while paying close attention to profitability from the early days. That’s why, at some point in the past, we weren’t a very attractive investment for many VCs. So this award is not only an honor for us, but also a validation for our way of operating the business. And for the most part, this is an appreciation for investors who dared to back ideas like ours when no one did. Thank you to the SVCA for this award.”

eFishery started out offering an IoT (Internet of Things) feeder that helps aquaculture farmers lower costs, improve yields, and cut harvest time. Most farmers still feed their fish and shrimp manually, which often leads to overfeeding–a massive issue since feed accounts for the bulk of a farmer’s cost. Leveraging data from the device, the company strategically launched a marketplace where farmers can buy feed, secure loans, and sell their produce.

Today, eFishery serves more than 40,000 fish and shrimp farmers across 200,000 ponds in Indonesia. Earlier this year, it raised its US$90 million Series C round, led by Temasek, SoftBank Vision Fund 2, and Sequoia Capital India, with participation from the Northstar Group, Go-Ventures, AquaSpark, and Wavemaker. Wavemaker first invested in eFishery during its Series A round in 2018, writing its biggest first check at the time.

“We were impressed by eFishery’s amazing growth and ability to realize profit and make significant impact to the lives of fish farmers in Indonesia. We laud Wavemaker for their ability to suss out and gumption to back a tech company targeting the traditional fish farming industry,” said Doris Yee, Executive Director, SVCA.

The SVCA is a 180-plus member organization comprising the world’s top venture capital and private equity firms, limited partners, family offices, and other stakeholders in the private capital ecosystem. Its annual SVCA Awards seek to celebrate the achievements of outstanding VC and PE firms for their contribution to value creation and empowering entrepreneurship through their portfolio investments.

Last year, Wavemaker also won VC Deal of the Year with Growsari, a B2B tech platform that helps the Philippines’ over 1 million sari-sari stores get better service level, assortment, and access to new services, outfitting them with both the infrastructure and tools they need to transform themselves from simple FMCG outlets to comprehensive service hubs. Growsari has raised US$110 million in total funding, including its Series C.

About Wavemaker Partners

Wavemaker Partners is Southeast Asia’s go-to VC firm investing in early-stage enterprise, deep tech, and sustainability startups. Since 2012, it has backed 180+ companies, of which 160+ (85%) are in enterprise, deep tech and/or sustainability. The firm has over US$300 million in AUM across four funds in the region, and has seen more than 10 exits with an aggregate enterprise value of over US$700 million. Today, 75% of Wavemaker’s active portfolio startups in Southeast Asia are aligned with at least one UNDP Sustainable Development Goal. Notable active portfolio companies include eFishery, Growsari, GudangAda, Silent Eight, Borneo, and Iterative Scopes.

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About Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association

The Singapore Venture Capital & Private Equity Association (SVCA) was formed in 1992 to promote the development of the venture capital and PE industry. As the common voice of the private capital ecosystem across institutional investors, family offices, asset managers, and service providers in the region, the SVCA promotes the collective interests of its members and contributes toward the development of Singapore as a leading global hub for private capital fund management. Through proactive outreach, engagement, collaboration, and expansion of its member base, the SVCA aims to further the development of a vibrant private capital ecosystem in the region and harness the power of private capital toward the achievement of the sustainable development goals.