How TaniGroup faces challenges, opportunities in Indonesian agritech industry | Digital Asia
Digital Asia News Update
As the number of Indonesian agritech startups continue to grow, only several startups are able to stand out with their presence and business lines. One example of such startups is TaniGroup, which has developed the TaniHub and TaniFund platforms.
TaniGroup Co-Founder & CEO Ivan Arie Sustiawan once explained in an event that the TaniHub platform has been used actively by 680 farmer groups. Its client list has grown beyond 230 units, consisting of supermarkets, restaurants, exporter, manufacturers, and SMEs.
As for TaniFund, the platform claimed to have channeled up to IDR19 billion (US$1.3 million) to 34 projects run by farmer groups. The funding for the projects was raised through online crowdfunding and credits from several banks.
Founded in August 2016, TaniGroup itself has also raised a pre-Series A funding round led by Alpha JWC Ventures.
In order to expand its capability, this year TaniHub launched a commerce app for farmers that enables them to directly sell their products to customers. They also have another app that helps B2B customers purchase agricultural products from the farmers. The two apps were aimed to speed up on-boarding and transaction process.
“For TaniFund, we are currently in the process of expanding the farmers and supporting apps, so that farmers can use their app to receive all sorts of assistance in farming, such as weather information, polyculture method, treatment method, and many more,” Sustiawan told DailySocial.
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Challenges in the agricultural sector
The truth is that there are plenty of challenges in running an agricultural business, from the matter of production chain to the capacity of the farmers themselves. This is something that TaniGroup has to deal with in developing its business. According to Sustiawan, the greatest challenge that the company is facing is socialising its platform to both farmers and clients.
“It is indeed a costly and painful process, but this is something that all startups aiming to make it big have to go through. The way we explain our business process to farmers is by attending socialisation events held by Ministry of Communications and Informatics, Ministry of SMEs, Financial Services Authority, and the Central Bank,” Sustiawan said.
TaniGroup believes that soon technology will transform Indonesian agriculture system to become more productive and transparent. Sustiawan gave an example of a digital system that can help farmers increase supplies. Farmers that have worked with TaniGroup claimed that they feel benefited by the certainty provided by the platform; they felt encouraged to plant more and hire more people for their fields.
“Farmer groups that have applied for funding through TaniFund can also secure it relatively faster. In addition to providing a marketplace and lending services, technology is also able to assist farmers in choosing and optimising the right farming method,” Sustiawan continued.
With the achievements that the startup has already made, TaniGroup is confident enough about expanding beyond Java this year. It will continue to add new features, following feedbacks from farmer groups and their B2B clients. In addition to that, TaniFund also aims to reach a greater number of funding achieved for farmers, with the goal to increase the social impact, particularly in organic farming.
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Great opportunities remain in the agricultural sector
As industry players begin to recognise Indonesia’s potential as an agricultural nation, more startups in the agritech sectors are entering the market. There are indeed many problems to solve in the market; a central statistic agency revealed that the growth of agricultural sector in 2016 was only 1.85 per cent. Investment in the agricultural sector was also considered insignificant with the industry taking over 13.56 per cent of national industries.
Sustiawan welcomed the appearance of new competitors with open arms.
“We believe that there is enough ‘cake’ for everyone in the sector so that we do not have to consider each other as competitor. Our hope is for agritech startups to collaborate with each other as the biggest goal for Indonesian agritech startups should be prosperity for all farmers and fishermen, promoting sustainable farming for the sake of the country’s agricultural business sector, and maintaining food security,” he closed.
The article Potensi dan Tantangan Industri Agrotech di Indonesia was written in Bahasa Indonesia by Randi Eka Yonida for DailySocial. English translation and editing by Tech News.
The post How TaniGroup faces challenges, opportunities in Indonesian agritech industry appeared first on Tech News.