Eratani supports Indonesia’s farmers through the entire growing process
About 29% of Indonesia’s workforce is in the agriculture sector, but many small farmers face challenges like low access to working capital. Eratani is an end to end management system that helps farmers get financing and supplies and then sell their crops once they are ready. Today, the startup announced that it raised a $3.8 million seed round. This was led by TNB Aura, a Singaporean VC firm, and included participation from AgFunder Capital, Trihill Capital, and B.I.G. Ventures.
Founded in 2021 by Andrew Soeherman, Kevin Laksono and Angles Gani, Eratani is now used by more than 10,000 farmers in Java to manage a total of 8,000 hectares producing 52,000 tons of rice. Its target is to work with more than 50,000 farmers by the end of 2024.
Soeherman was inspired by his uncle’s agricultural supplies business to see the challenges faced by farmers as a child. TechCrunch was told by Soeherman that most agritech companies address farmers’ downstream needs. Eratani was initially developed to address upstream issues. It then evolved into an end-to–end management platform for farms and goods throughout the entire production cycle.
One of the biggest challenges facing Indonesian farmers is their need to borrow money to purchase agri-input products from stores. They pay off those loans after they sell their crops, but interest is about 20% a month, said Soeherman, which means they are caught in a cycle of debt. “In Indonesia, there are 33 million farmers and the majority are aged over 45 years. If nothing changes, within 10 years Indonesia will experience a farmer regeneration crisis.”
Eratani has three parts to its management platform. Agri Financing provides farmers with the working capital they need to start their planting process. Agri Inputs offers advice from its agronomist team on how to use agricultural supplies. Agri Output, which is a market price system that can be used during crop distribution, is the final option.
Eratani also collects statistics from the field to improve farmers’ productivity. The platform gives farmers access to Eratani’s Agronomists, who can help them develop strategies to increase their crop yield.
The startup has several partnerships in place with the Indonesian government. The startup has a partnership with Indonesia’s Agricultural Ministry and the Indonesian State Logistics Agency in order to develop the agricultural ecosystem. Another collaboration is with the Agricultural Ministry of Indonesia in order to increase crop yields, and farmer income. It is also part of Ministry of Communications and Informatics’ Startup Studio Indonesia.
Soeherman stated that Eratani is different by creating an environment for the entire agricultural process. However, he doesn’t consider other players to be competition. “In the agritech sector, we believe that the whole community should support and encourage the Indonesian agriculture industry. Despite having over 70 agritech companies operating within the space, there is still a long way to go as it is estimated only 3% of Indonesia’s farmers have benefitted from these technologies overall.”
Vicknesh R. Pillay, founding partner of TNB, stated that the fragmented nature of the agritech sector in Indonesia has led to a turning point. Eratani brings to the table a farmer-centric strategy, a strong team, and existing partnerships in this space. We are excited to embark on this journey with Eratani
I’m a journalist who specializes in investigative reporting and writing. I have written for the New York Times and other publications.