Indonesia’s CROWDE raises funding from GREE Ventures | Tech Industry

Indonesian agritech startup CROWDE today announced that it has raised an undisclosed seed round from Tokyo-based venture capital firm GREE .

Crevisse also participated in the funding round.

In a press statement, CROWDE CEO Yohanes Sugihtononugroho explained that the funding will be used to increase the number of farmers that the company aims to help by giving them capital boost.

“We are aware that there are still many farmers facing challenges in securing capital [for their operations]; they struggle to secure loans from financial institutions,” he said.

With headquarters in both Jakarta and Bandung, CROWDE aims to build a sustainable agricultural ecosystem by connecting farmers to potential investors.

The investors will help fund agricultural projects run by farmers, such as coffee bean distribution or long-distance shipment of watermelons.

By this year, through its peer-to-peer (P2P) lending service, the startup has channeled IDR30 billion (US$1.9 million) from 24,000 investors to 10,000 farmers in 276 villages in Indonesia.

What sets it apart from other P2P lending platforms is that the investment is being channeled into the agricultural projects in the form of equipment, tools, or materials.

CROWDE also educates farmers on matters such as technology and finance management, which is said to be the main hurdles that farmers are facing in developing their business.

Founded in 2015 by Sugihtononugroho and Muhammad Risyad Ganis, the startup aims to help up to 100,000 farmers and channel up to IDR70 billion (US$4.6 million) in loan by end of 2018.

According to a DailySocial report, it has raised US$70,000 funding from angel investor UMG Indonesia in 2016.

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