Fefifo raises US$3.1M to double the scale of its pilot co-farms in Malaysia

Update: The previous version of this article has incorrectly stated Fefifo as a Malaysia-based company. We have also included a correction regarding RHL Ventures and KB Investment’s involvement in the funding round.

Singapore-headquartered agritech startup Fefifo has raised US$3.1 million in early stage funding round. Venture capital (VC) firm RHL Ventures and KB Investment, the appointed South Korean co-investment partners for Malaysia’s Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) by Penjana Kapital, are the new investors involved in the funding round.

In a press statement, Fefifo Co-Founder and CEO Kelveen Soh said, “This new injection of funds will be used to double the scale of Fefifo’s pilot co-farms in Perak, Malaysia, over the next six months, grow the operations and bring in key strategic hires for our licensing, technology and data engineering team, taking our self-operated co-farms acreage to a total area of 10 acres of modern commercial farming operations.”

Prior to this funding round, the startup has received backing from accelerator programme ScaleUp Malaysia, venture capital firm Quest Ventures, and impact-focussed VC EcoImpact Capital.

Fefifo describes its platform as a “cloud kitchen for farmers.” It aims to encourage the younger generations in Malaysia to explore agriculture and farming as a career by providing digitalised and standardised, ready-to-use “co-farms”.

Smallholder farmers, whom they call agropreneurs, can start their own commercial farms in the co-farms easily by renting a ready-to-farm greenhouse or open farm space with managed farm services, accommodation, and other shared common facilities.

Also Read: 25 notable startups in Malaysia that have taken off in 2021

According to Chris Fong, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy and Innovation at Fefifo, “Eighty per cent of food Asia consumes is produced by smallholder farmers. Sixty-five per cent will retire in 15 years and traditional farming is not profitable enough to attract the next generation. Bringing up smallholder farming efficacy and profitability through modernisation is key to feeding 8.5 billion people by 2030.”

“We are the first to focus on standardising smallholder operations, and we do that by combining digitalisation of commercial farm workflows and democratisation of costly farm systems and infrastructure with a business model that is relatable to smallholder farmers –rental (“farm-space-as-a-service fee”) and crop profit sharing,” he continues.

Fefifo recently started its pilot co-farm in Perak with the first batch of two agropreneurs growing chilli and muskmelon using Fefifo’s proprietary technology platform DDFN.

The startup said that each agropreneur can take home a likely MYR50,000 (US$11,000) to MYR70,000 (US$16,700) net per year per farm space which is around twice the income of a fresh graduate in Kuala Lumpur or 10 times that of a traditional subsistence farmer.

Ready to meet new startups to invest in? We have more than hundreds of startups ready to connect with potential investors on our platform. Create or claim your Investor profile today and turn on e27 Connect to receive requests and fundraising information from them.

Image Credit: Fefifo

The post Fefifo raises US$3.1M to double the scale of its pilot co-farms in Malaysia appeared first on e27.

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Update: The previous version of this article has incorrectly stated Fefifo as a Malaysia-based company. We have also included a correction regarding RHL Ventures and KB Investment’s involvement in the funding round.

Singapore-headquartered agritech startup Fefifo has raised US$3.1 million in early stage funding round. Venture capital (VC) firm RHL Ventures and KB Investment, the appointed South Korean co-investment partners for Malaysia’s Dana Penjana Nasional (DPN) by Penjana Kapital, are the new investors involved in the funding round.

In a press statement, Fefifo Co-Founder and CEO Kelveen Soh said, “This new injection of funds will be used to double the scale of Fefifo’s pilot co-farms in Perak, Malaysia, over the next six months, grow the operations and bring in key strategic hires for our licensing, technology and data engineering team, taking our self-operated co-farms acreage to a total area of 10 acres of modern commercial farming operations.”

Prior to this funding round, the startup has received backing from accelerator programme ScaleUp Malaysia, venture capital firm Quest Ventures, and impact-focussed VC EcoImpact Capital.

Fefifo describes its platform as a “cloud kitchen for farmers.” It aims to encourage the younger generations in Malaysia to explore agriculture and farming as a career by providing digitalised and standardised, ready-to-use “co-farms”.

Smallholder farmers, whom they call agropreneurs, can start their own commercial farms in the co-farms easily by renting a ready-to-farm greenhouse or open farm space with managed farm services, accommodation, and other shared common facilities.

Also Read: 25 notable startups in Malaysia that have taken off in 2021

According to Chris Fong, Co-Founder & Chief Strategy and Innovation at Fefifo, “Eighty per cent of food Asia consumes is produced by smallholder farmers. Sixty-five per cent will retire in 15 years and traditional farming is not profitable enough to attract the next generation. Bringing up smallholder farming efficacy and profitability through modernisation is key to feeding 8.5 billion people by 2030.”

“We are the first to focus on standardising smallholder operations, and we do that by combining digitalisation of commercial farm workflows and democratisation of costly farm systems and infrastructure with a business model that is relatable to smallholder farmers –rental (“farm-space-as-a-service fee”) and crop profit sharing,” he continues.

Fefifo recently started its pilot co-farm in Perak with the first batch of two agropreneurs growing chilli and muskmelon using Fefifo’s proprietary technology platform DDFN.

The startup said that each agropreneur can take home a likely MYR50,000 (US$11,000) to MYR70,000 (US$16,700) net per year per farm space which is around twice the income of a fresh graduate in Kuala Lumpur or 10 times that of a traditional subsistence farmer.

Ready to meet new startups to invest in? We have more than hundreds of startups ready to connect with potential investors on our platform. Create or claim your Investor profile today and turn on e27 Connect to receive requests and fundraising information from them.

Image Credit: Fefifo

The post Fefifo raises US$3.1M to double the scale of its pilot co-farms in Malaysia appeared first on e27.

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