Vietnam has the third largest shrimp industry in the world, holding a global market share of 11%. However, industry growth is sluggish, and its low-price foreign competitors are moving quickly; Indonesia, India, and Ecuador have recently overtaken Vietnam’s shrimp production volume.
While Vietnam’s large-scale shrimp producers are adept at leveraging agricultural technologies, many small and midsize producers are not. This leaves them without solutions to the challenges of improving water quality across the production cycle as well as the cost-efficiency of feed products.
The Indonesian company Jala Tech is a cutting-edge solution provider at the forefront of solving these challenges. Jala Tech has developed a precision data-powered shrimp farm management platform and app that empowers digitization in the shrimp industry. Farmers enter data directly into the Jala App, where they can then gain access to AI-powered analytics to help forecast shrimp harvests.
The Jala Tech team began R&D on its solution in 2015 and then officially launched the company in 2018. Since then, Jala Tech has validated its business model, earning more than 10,000 users in Indonesia – and picking up investments from 500 Startups, HATCH, and Conservation International along the way.
And in November 2021, JalaTech also received a $6 million investment from Mirova, Meloy Fund, and Real Tech Fund to accelerate the company’s Southeast Asian expansion.
The selection team of GRAFT Challenge Vietnam 2021 invited Jala Tech to apply for the program during an international search for best-in-class agritech companies that could solve the most pressing challenges facing Vietnam’s aquaculture and fisheries industry.
Jala Tech was accepted into the GRAFT Challenge, and the company is now three months into the landing pad program of tailored support from the GRAFT team and Vietnam agriculture industry experts.
First initiatives included helping Jala Tech identify precise market entry points by vetting communities with abundant shrimp farms in the Bac Lieu, Soc Trang, and Ca Mau provinces in the Mekong Delta – an area that accounts for 60% of the shrimp production in Vietnam. Jala Tech is also preparing to establish a Vietnam “Shrimp Hub” office in one of these provinces.
“During the GRAFT program we have exposure to the industry itself,” said Jala Tech co-founder and CEO Liris Maduningtyas. “And it’s been wonderful to see the industry welcoming [our] new technology.”
The company is edging closer to market entry; Maduningtyas said that as of November, the Jala Tech app had been finalized in Vietnamese language.
To help Jala Tech integrate into the new market, local experts have been briefing the company to navigate Vietnamese regulatory challenges and barriers, especially with regards to data privacy.
The GRAFT team extends Jala Tech strategic and operational support during weekly meetings to make progress toward the company’s next objectives. These include hiring a country manager – a position the team hopes to fill by early 2022. Jala Tech is also recruiting Vietnamese local tech and marketing teams.
Next up, Jala Tech needs to collect data from 2,000 shrimp farm pond cycles to advance the algorithms on its platform, and it also needs to vet potential corporate agribusiness partners who can help speed market entry.
Jala Tech wants to acquire 10,000 Vietnamese users in the next two years, which would put the company well on its way towards Maduningtyas’ goal of making Jala Tech “the number one shrimp technology company in Southeast Asia.”
If you or any entities in your networks are interested in partnering with Jala Tech on its journey to scale up in Vietnam, contact the GRAFT team at email@example.com.