Hi, everyone. Taro here.
Over the past few days, there have been numerous headlines related to the SWIFT sanctions against Russia and other repercussions. There has also been a wave of interest in crypto, with millions of dollars worth of Bitcoin and Ether donated to Ukraine. The modern weapon of choice may well be liquidity that is decentralized and easily accessible.
Startup Wire is starting a new section this week, with an overview of interesting startups across various sectors and countries. We hope this can shine a spotlight on some underrated startups across Asia and give them an opportunity to get some attention.
Startups to watch in Asia. This week, we look at startups in the aquaculture space.
Location: Hong Kong
The company creates 3D prints of reef tiles using terracotta, forming artificial reef structures that promote coral growth and restoration. To reverse the continued degradation of coral reefs, archiREEF aims to use its product to restore this part of the marine ecosystem.
Using data gathered by remote sensors, FishGo aims to provide fishermen with information about the best areas, time, and routes to catch fish. It also functions as a reseller for fish caught by fishermen who use FishGo, and offers fish skin chips.
With the goal of bringing food cultivation into urban centers, Vertical Oceans aims to grow shrimp in vertical farms in urban settings all year round without using chemicals. The startup closed a USD 3.5 million round with Khosla Ventures and SOSV in 2021.
Location: Japan / Singapore
Umitron provides a range of products for automated fish farm feeding, school behavior analysis, data collection, and fish appetite detection. It has formed partnerships with ENEOS Holdings, Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, and the Japan Space Forum for its research and development.
The platform is powered by AI to help shrimp farmers manage their hatcheries, financing for supplies, and data. Sgara’s key technology is its computer vision and artificial intelligence to count larvae, saving time for farmers who would otherwise have undertaken the task on their own.
Nothing But Net
Recent Startup Wins
- Xendit, Spenmo, Ajaib, Aspire, BukuWarung, Fazz Financial, and Shipper made up the Southeast Asia contingent on the Y Combinator Top Companies list.
- Volopay announced a Series A round of USD 29 million led by JAM Fun.
- Zeemart announced its new data analytics and visualisation tool.
- EduSpaze, a Singapore based edtech accelerator, announced its fourth cohort.
Pick & Roll
Interesting Drops From the Week
- Despite rapid growth and capital injection, the grocery sector in Indonesia faces questions of profitability as well as challenges of poor logistics infrastructure, policy, and regulation.
- Startups that are listed as a SPAC now face heavy scrutiny, as a recent Wall Street Journal analysis shows a large number are missing revenue projections by 53% on average. [via Wall Street Journal]
- After rising to the top of the Apple App Store, Chinese social media app Jelly was taken offline after allegations of copyright infringement surfaced. However, many users await its return.
- Tiger Global recently announced that it would stop focusing on late-stage startup funding, with tech stocks performing abysmally over the last few months. [via The Information]
If you are a startup that is raising funds, or have an interesting story or lead, and want us to feature it in this newsletter, please fill out this form.