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Agritech Startup Semaai Raises $1.25 Million In Pre-Seed Round A large part of the funding will be used to grow the Indonesia-based startup's engineering and product teams in India

By S Shanthi

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Semaai, an agritech startup based in Indonesia, has raised $1.25 million in pre-seed funding led by Surge, Sequoia Capital India's rapid scale-up program for startups in India and Southeast Asia, and Beenext. Angel investors Nipun Mehra, founder and CEO of e-commerce startup Ula; Harshet Lunani, founder and CEO of Qoala; and Prashant Pawar, Technology Investment Banker at Houlihan Lokey also participated in the round.

While Semaai primarily operates in Central Java, Indonesia, a large part of the funding will be channeled into expanding the startup's engineering and product teams in India. Semaai has plans to grow its tech talent in India by at least three times by the end of 2022.

Semaai is building a full-stack agri-tech solution for Indonesia's rural agriculture communities and empowering farmers to maximize their earning potential. It is aiming to address systemic issues in the industry by offering a comprehensive suite of services for rural agricultural communities. The startup is providing customized consultancy through its team of expert agronomists, access to productivity tools such as soil testing technology as well as fairly priced farming inputs such as seed and fertilizer products.

Semaai plans to expand its network of service delivery centers to deploy its services, starting with toko tanis (agri-retailers) and eventually reaching the vast number of smallholders in rural Indonesia. In just five months since launch, Semaai has seen the gross merchandise value (GMV) of products sold to agri-retailers and MSMEs increase by tenfold, claims the startup, which also aims to deliver its services and impact up to 100,000 smallholders and rural MSMEs by next year.

"Semaai comes at an important time where farmers are open to and rapidly adopting digital methods, with increasing smartphone penetration rates and affordable data. We believe that technology can make a real impact for millions of farmers in Indonesia and provide the financial freedom, resources and opportunities required to improve their livelihoods. The agricultural industry is definitely ripe for change, with technology as a key driver," said Gaurav Batra, co-founder, Semaai.

Semaai was founded in April 2021 by Abhishek Gupta, Gaurav Batra and Muhammad Yoga Anindito.

S Shanthi

Former Senior Assistant Editor

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. 

 

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