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Mangrove forest in a swamp. Image credit: iStock

Data snapshot: Climate and forestry solutions notably absent from Indonesia’s agrifoodtech investment landscape

August 30, 2023

Data Snapshot is a regular AgFunderNews feature in which we analyze agrifoodtech market investment data provided by our parent company, AgFunder.

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Agrifoodtech startups in Indonesia have raised nearly $360 million in VC investment so far in 2023, according to preliminary data from AgFunder.

Much of the funding so far this year has gone into upstream startups close to the farm or lab, or those working to simplify the country’s agri-supply chain.

This is a departure from 2022, where the eGrocery category raised the most funding ($240 million) and had the largest number of deals (10). The decline is in line with global trends.

However, climate tech investment is notably absent from Indonesia’s top agrifoodtech VC rounds this year. Given the country’s status as both a contributor to climate change and a nation in an especially climate-vulnerable region, you’d expect to see more VC dollars investing in climate and forestry-related technologies working to enable more sustainable ag and food production.

Mangrove forest in a swamp. Image credit: iStock

Where the money is going

So far in 2023, Indonesia agrifoodtech has seen just two deals for eGrocery startups, both from the first half of this year: a $40 million round for social commerce startup Evermos and an undisclosed round for 99ninetynine.com.

Aquaculture startup eFishery has raised the most funding of all agrifoodtech startups in Indonesia this year thanks to a $200 million Series D led by UAE-based G42 Global Expansion Fund.

The Agribusiness Marketplace & Fintech category has seen the most deals, including EdenFarm’s $13.5 million led by Telkomsel Mitra Inovasi and a $1.3 million seed round for Semaai.

Beleaf, a hydroponic farming company, raised $68.5 million just a few weeks ago.

Where the money needs to go

Indonesia is one of the world’s top emitters of greenhouse gases, much of it coming from forest and peatland clearance for palm oil production, pulp wood, logging and mining.

In September 2022, the country increased its unconditional Paris Agreement emissions reduction target from 29% to 32% below its business-as-usual scenario (BAU), and its conditional target from 41% to 43% below its BAU. This includes emissions from land use change and forestry.

Critics, however, have said the changes don’t go far enough. Climate Action Tracker, for instance, notes that Indonesia won’t meet its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) without “a substantial decrease in LULUCF [land use, land-use change, and forestry] emissions.”

“Both Indonesia’s conditional and unconditional targets depend heavily on the forestry sector, which accounts for around 60% of the emissions reduction effort.”

That leaves the door wide open for opportunity when it comes to climate tech startups working on conservation, curbing deforestation and storing carbon.

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