Fresh Factory, an Indonesian cold-chain fulfillment start-up, has secured US$4.5 million in seed funding to expand its business. The early funding round was led by Singapore-based East Ventures with involvement from Indonesian firms PT Saratoga Investama Sedaya, Indogen Capital, Prasetya Dwidarma and Number Capital, US-based Y Combinator, and Singapore’s Trihill Capital. Several angel investors also participated, according to a press release published by East Ventures on Monday. Fresh Factory, according to the release, aims to provide a network of hyperlocal cold-chain fulfillment centers and a fulfillment management system.
“We are elated to have Fresh Factory as part of East Ventures’ portfolios. Seeing the huge gap in cold-chain solutions and how it has led to many issues of food loss in the supply chain, we believe Fresh Factory will serve as the solution to improve the cold chain logistics for perishable goods and benefit micro, small and medium enterprises [MSMEs],” said Avina Sugiarto, venture partner of East Ventures.
“This fund will accelerate our mission of supporting all the business players in Indonesia, especially SMEs, in driving growth and scaling their businesses,” said Fresh Factory founder and CEO Larry Ridwan.
According to the press release, Fresh Factory has more than 20 warehouses located in cities in Java, Sumatra, Sulawesi, and Bali and plans to use the new funds to expand further in Sumatra and Sulawesi as well as to secondary cities in Java. According to the release, Indonesia’s cold-chain infrastructure has big gaps as development so far has focused on central warehouses, leaving deficiencies in mid-and last-mile logistics, notwithstanding Indonesia’s potential in agriculture and aquaculture. For that reason, cold-chain infrastructure is expected to grow significantly in the near future.
Cold Storage Association (ARPI) chairman Hasanuddin Yasni told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that it expects 32,000 tons of cold storage to be installed this year, up 50 percent from last year’s capacity increase, as the industry expands to accommodate growing production in the marine products and fishery sector.
As information, a 2020 Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) report ranked Indonesia the second-largest country in marine fishing, after China, with a total capture of 6.74 million tons in 2018. But Indonesia was not among the 10 largest exporters of fish and fish products, a list topped by China with $21.6 billion in 2018, followed by Norway, Vietnam, and India with $12 billion, $8.8 billion, and $7 billion, respectively.
Fresh Factory also has technological solutions integrated into its business, namely geotagging and geolocation for storage, artificial intelligence to forecast and manage warehouse stocks as well as internet-connected devices to monitor freezer and chiller temperatures.
June 28, 2022, The Jakarta Post