Aquarech Raises $1.7 Million Funding to Revolutionize Kenyan Aquaculture
Kenyan fish farming startup Aquarech has successfully raised $1.7 million in equity funding to revolutionize the prospects of small-scale fish farmers in Kenya through its cutting-edge mobile app platform.
Established in 2019 and spearheaded by CEO Dave Okech, who operates from Kisumu, alongside co-founders James Odede and Joseph Okoth, Aquarech is dedicated to streamlining fish farming production.
The startup's mobile app platform facilitates seamless trade interactions among manufacturers, farmers, and buyers, enabling the purchase and sale of quality fish-feed.
Moreover, the platform serves as an educational resource, imparting best aquaculture practices to farmers, thereby aiding them in enhancing their incomes.
Addressing the prevalent challenges faced by local farmers, such as limited resources and access to high-quality feed, Aquarech aims to bolster production, uplift small-scale farmer economics, and foster the overall growth of Kenya's aquaculture industry.
To accomplish this, Aquarech takes a holistic approach, offering support to small-scale farmers by providing quality feed, implementing climate-smart precision fish feeding techniques, facilitating market access, offering technical training, and extending financial access, including a 90-day credit period for feed payments.
The recent injection of $1.7 million in equity funding is earmarked for talent acquisition, procurement of additional feed, and the establishment of infrastructure to enhance the vertical integration of Aquarech's technology.
The investment is spearheaded by Aqua-Spark, a global aquaculture investment fund based in the Netherlands, and includes additional contributions from Acumen, Katapult, and Mercy Corps Ventures.
Aquarech's CEO, Dave Okech, emphasized the startup's commitment to revolutionizing the aquaculture value chain. He quoted the proverb, "If you give a man a fish, you feed him for a day. If you teach a man to fish, you feed him for a lifetime," expressing the startup's focus on empowering farmers.
Okech highlighted that the funding and partnerships forged with investors will propel the growth of their mobile-enabled platform, removing barriers faced by smallholder fish farmers and fostering collaboration across the value chain while keeping the farmer at the center.
Christiaan Lensvelt, Head of New Deals at Aqua-Spark, praised Aquarech's dedication to improving local livelihoods by assisting small to medium farmers in achieving commercial and environmental sustainability.
Lensvelt expressed anticipation for supporting Aquarech in making significant contributions to the industry, emphasizing the startup's unique blend of field experience and digital tools as a standout feature among aquaculture startups in Africa.
Tom Jackson / Disrupt Africa