IMPACT Awards 2022

Impact project/investment of the year - oceans and coastal zones: The Meloy Fund's investment in Jala Tech

Source: The Meloy Fund

Indonesia-based start-up Jala Tech develops technology to improve the sustainability of shrimp farming.

The Meloy Fund contributed to a $6 million boost in investment for Jala, alongside Mirova and Real Tech Fund, in November 2021. The fund invests in sustainable community fisheries in Indonesia and the Philippines.

Shrimp farming has been dogged by environmental concerns around polluting the oceans, disease outbreaks and inefficient value chains.

Jala seeks to tackle these issues by providing hardware and software to measure the water quality of shrimp ponds in Southeast Asia, improving the ability of farmers to manage the conditions.

The AI platform from Jala is equipped with shrimp growth information, harvest prediction, financial management and disease alerts.

The start-up also operates a marketplace that offers product traceability, while improving the competitivity shrimp farmers by connecting them with processing companies.

Jala was used by more than 6,700 farms as of 2021, improving productivity and facilitating the monthly trade of 200 tons of shrimp, the fund said.

Over 62,000 fisher and farmer household members have benefited with over one million hectares of seascape under improved management, it said.

This came despite inflation, price pressures, and supply chain disruptions, said Dale Galvin, fund manager of Meloy Fund.

Jala sought to answer increasing demand for sustainable seafood, increasing attention to the needs of vulnerable coastal communities and increasing government focus on marine protection, Galvin said.

Looking to the future, Deliberate Capital, the firm managing the Meloy Fund, has partnered with Pegasus Capital Advisors to jointly manage the Global Fund for Coral Reefs (GFCR), Galvin said.

It will focus on areas including sustainable wild-caught fisheries, marine farming, sustainable tourism, and reduction of ocean plastics.