29% of Indonesia’s workforce is in the agricultural sector, but many small farmers face challenges such as low access to working capital. Eratani is an end-to-end management system that helps them get finance and supplies and then sells the crops after they are ready. The startup today announced an oversubscribed $3.8 million seed round led by Singapore VC firm TNB Aura, with participation from AgFunder, Trihill Capital and BIG Ventures.
In the year Founded in 2021 by Andrew Soherman, Kevin Lacsono, and Angles Ghani, Eratani now has more than 10,000 farmers in Java producing 52,000 tons of rice on a total of 8,000 hectares of land. It is planned to work with more than 50,000 farmers by the end of 2024.
Soherman’s uncle ran an agricultural supplies business, which led him to explore the problems farmers faced growing up. He told TechCrush that most agritech players address the downstream needs of farmers, so Eratani was originally created to address downstream issues before evolving into an end-to-end management platform for agriculture and commodities across the entire production cycle.
Some of the challenges that Indonesian farmers face is that they need to borrow money to buy agri inputs from stores. After selling their crops, they repay those loans, but the interest is about 20% a month, Soherman said, which means they are trapped in a cycle of debt. “There are 33 million farmers in Indonesia, most of whom are over 45 years old. If nothing changes, within 10 years, Indonesia will face a peasant renaissance.
Eratani’s management platform is divided into three parts. The first is Agri Financing, which provides farmers with access to the working capital they need for the planting process. Agri-Inputs provides advice on how to use agricultural supplies from its team of agricultural experts. Finally, Agri Output is a market price system used in the crop distribution process.
Eratani collects field data statistics to increase farmers’ productivity. Through the platform, farmers can meet Eratani agronomists who can help them with strategies to increase their crop yields.
The startup currently has several collaborations with the Indonesian government. This includes partnerships with the Indonesian Ministry of Agriculture and the Indonesian State Logistics Agency with the goal of achieving food freedom in Indonesia. It is also part of the Ministry of Communications and Informatics Startup Studio Indonesia.
Agritech startups are booming in Indonesia, and among those covered by TechCrunch are B2B marketplace AgriAku, agritech platform TaniHub and “sea-to-table” startup Aruna.
Soherman Iratani distinguishes himself by creating an ecosystem for the entire agricultural process, but he does not see other players as competition. “At Agritech, we believe that the entire community must come together to support and encourage Indonesia’s agriculture industry. Although there are more than 70+ Agritech companies in the space, it is estimated that only 3% of Indonesian farmers have benefited, so there is still a long way to go.”
TNB Founding Partner Viknesh R. Pillai said in a statement, “The agritech space in Indonesia is currently at an inflection point due to its fragmented nature. Eratani brings to the table a farmer-centric approach along with a strong team and partnerships in the space, and we are excited to embark on this journey with Eratani.
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