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Alune Aqua offers loans to boost Indonesian aquaculture development. Alune Aqua is a startup based in Indonesia that is improving the aquaculture industry by offering loans that meet the needs of farmers, according to an article by Nossa Capital.

Shrimp farming in Indonesia is a $4 billion industry employing over 3 million people, yet it is an industry, which has been slow to adopt technology, and financial loan terms do not meet the needs of farmers. Alune is making shrimp farming more efficient and sustainable by offering loans that meet the needs of farmers and enable new technologies and improvements on farms, whilst offering investors access to an SDG aligned asset class.

Nossa Capital spoke with Alexander Farthing, CEO and Founder of Alune.

What led you to founding Alune?

“I started Alune just under two years ago. I’m a marine biologist with a masters in sustainable aquaculture systems. After a few years in London’s start-up scene, I understand the power of business combined with science to drive innovation, and importantly, the adoption of that innovation. We see a vacuum today in aquaculture between technology availability and adoption, due to a lack of suitable financial partners.

“Alune is for people and planet. I find it unmotivating to get out of bed for businesses that don’t have an impact motive attached to them. Most (businesses) can positively move their customers, partners and teams to make an impact. It feels lazy if organisations are not attempting to do this. At Alune, it’s built into our very core as we drive financial inclusion with an environmentally aware investment framework.”

What is the fundamental problem Alune is trying to solve?

“Aquaculture is a $400Bn USD industry which is underbanked and underserved by the financial sector. Shrimp farms in particular, are an asset class many traditional finance providers are unsure how to approach and risk adjust. BCG estimates only 6% of shrimp farmers have bank financing.

“The result is that many farmers are unable to access finance on terms that fit their needs, leading to lower infrastructure and technology investments, which holds back productivity and prevents moves towards sustainability.

“Alune has built the credit, risk, partnerships, value chain and impact components required to enable capital into the industry at scale.

“Today we are enabling capital to enter the market, with a focus on technology and infrastructure developments. As an early leader in aquaculture finance, it is right that our investments and motives are SDG aligned and designed for people and our planet.”

Our mission: Create the aquaculture financial ecosystem for people and planet

“What is Aquaculture? Aquaculture is the equivalent of agriculture for seafood products. “Farms” in the sea, inlets, or other bodies of water hold fish, shrimp, crustaceans, seaweed or other seafood products which are grown and then harvested. Aquaculture often involves processes to enhance the productivity of farms or mitigation of losses by protecting the organisms from predators, feeding, and ensuring the environment and conditions are optimal for the organism being farmed.  

“Aquaculture as an industry has been flourishing in the last 30 years, and now produces over 50% of the seafood we consume. There is still some way to go in terms of developing the scientific infrastructure required to make it as effective and efficient as agriculture, however today’s knowledge and technology is creating stable, scalable businesses for well financed farmers. Aquaculture’s financial infrastructure has been lagging behind it’s scientific innovations, this has created a mismatch between product availability, known best infrastructure and the finance available to enable it.

“When we look at aquaculture as an industry and compare it to agriculture, we find thousands of financial institutions with products tailored to farmers, whereas aquaculture simply does not. We are creating the distribution channels, technology and partnerships to enable risk-adjusted capital into aquaculture at scale.”