Vietnamese shrimp production remains robust despite the pandemic, with shrimp products comprising 50% of the nation’s $8.8 billion worth of seafood exports in 2021.
The country’s shrimp producers, however, face myriad farm monitoring and disease control challenges, which impede growth and sustainability. Shrimp farmers report that currently available technologies in the Vietnamese market provide limited abilities to monitor shrimp health and respond to environmental stressors, which can negatively affect levels of oxygen in ponds and cause mass shrimp deaths. Climate change can further exacerbate these incidents, as increased water temperature leads to both heightened shrimp activity and decreased oxygen content.
This is where Tepbac comes in.
Tepbac, a Vietnamese agritech company founded in 2012 by Tran Duy Phong, an entrepreneur with a unique background in aquaculture management and software development, offers IoT solutions to improve operational efficiency, water quality control, and traceability in aquacultural enterprises.
The company’s solutions include Farmext, an integrated farm management platform designed to increase efficiency and productivity for aquaculture farmers through a seamless “farm-to-exchange” experience. Farmext’s performance is optimized by Envisor, an advanced, patterned self-cleaning sensor that provides real-time environmental monitoring along with yield and profitability forecasting. Since 2021, Tepbac has also equipped Farmext with “E-shop”, an e-commerce module that helps farmers reach a wide range of good products for their aquafarms.
“Our mission is to use IoT and big data platforms to reduce costs, reduce pollution, secure traceability and resolve other practical problems arising in the aquaculture industry in order to optimize the value chain of Vietnamese aquaculture,” said Mr. Phong, Tepbac’s founder.
To date, more than 1,500 Vietnamese shrimp farms have used Tepbac’s solution.
The company has gained recognition in the Vietnamese agritech landscape – winning the StartupViet 2020 competition, among other prizes. Tepbac has also become partners with global firms that cover the value chains of the aquaculture industry, such as Minh Phu, Bayer and Skretting.
“Our IoT solution brings new values to these companies and their customers and they will, surely, deepen their cooperation with us to optimize the Vietnamese aquaculture industry,” said Mr. Phong
Last year, the GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 selection team discovered Tepbac during its intensive global search for agritech companies with the potential to solve the major challenges facing Vietnam’s aquaculture industry.
In August 2021, Tepbac became the only Vietnamese company selected to the final cohort of GRAFT Challenge Vietnam.
Tepbac, which is based in Ho Chi Minh city, began the Challenge in August 2021 with the goals of building a strong foundation for marketing and sales throughout the rest of the country, and conducting extensive trials to refine its product-market fit.
The GRAFT team then facilitated an in-cohort connection between Tepbac and Jala Tech, an Indonesian IoT agritech company also working with Vietnamese shrimp farmers, to explore synergies in aquaculture environment monitoring.
The GRAFT team has also helped connect the Tepbac team with representatives of the Vietnam Sustainable Shrimp Alliance (VSSA) and the Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC Aqua), an international non-profit that establishes protocols for farmed seafood production; as well as facilitating continued discussions with and a demo for FPT, Vietnam’s largest ICT service provider. From these partnerships, Tepbac is developing new functions for Farmext to facilitate the seafood sourcing process, ensure product traceability, and secure better prices for producers who follow the farming process of Farmext.
Thanks to the enthusiastic and effective promotion of GRAFT, Tepbac can reach more interested users and investors to join them on the mission of optimizing the value chain of the Vietnamese aquaculture industry. The GRAFT Challenge has now concluded, and Tepbac has new momentum on its journey to revolutionize aquaculture in Vietnam. The company intends to earn $1 million in revenue within the next year, and hit $6 million by 2024 on its way to becoming Vietnam’s go-to management aquaculture management platform.
“Overcoming hundreds of Vietnamese representative projects participating in Graft 2021, Tepbac has affirmed its value in the agricultural technology startup community in Vietnam,” shared Nguyen Duc Tung, Senior Technical Advisor from GRAFT Challenge Vietnam. “With technical and networking support from the GRAFT team, Tepbac has been more strategically engaged in shaping shrimp farming models of different scales. Tepbac’s maturity proves that GRAFT has chosen appropriate, effective and practical solutions so that not only Tepbac, but current and future customers of Tepbac are also getting the benefits,” said Mr. Tung.
If you or any entities in your networks are interested in partnering with Tepbac on its journey to scale up in Vietnam, contact the GRAFT team at email@example.com.
GRAFT is sponsored by Australia’s Aus4Innovation program to contribute to promoting the testing of new models in public-private partnerships, and strengthen Vietnam’s capacity in digital, scenario building, commercialization, and innovation policy. GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 is an initiative designed by Australian innovation agency Beanstalk in partnership with the Vietnam Digital Agriculture Association (VIDA), the Vietnam National Supporting Center for Youth’s Start-up (SYS), and Mekong Business Initiative for Innovation Challenges (MBIIC).
About Aus4Innovation: Aus4Innovation is the AUD 13.5 million, four-year (2018-2022) flagship program to help strengthen the Vietnamese innovation system and prepare for Vietnam’s economic and digital future. It is funded by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), managed by the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) in strategic collaboration with the Ministry of Science and Technology of Vietnam (MoST)./.
For program enquiries, contact GRAFT at firstname.lastname@example.org
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