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Abalobi


Simon Magner - June 30, 2020 - 0 comments

Fish with a story, a co-designed and fisher-driven tech company that empowers small-scale fisheries.

What started as a university research project has turned into a non-profit connecting small-scale fishers, restaurants and now homes, thanks to Covid19.

At a Glance

A mobile app suite and programme, it is aimed at social justice and poverty alleviation in the small-scale fisheries chain

  • Cost & cash flow management
  • Accurate cash flow projections
  • Legal compliance
  • Tax compliance

The Backdrop

Abalobi, an NPO, was the brainchild of Serge Raemaekers, and has been co-created with small-scale fishermen and women.

ABALOBI ICT4FISHERIES is an African-based, fisher-driven social enterprise with global reach. Their mission is to contribute towards thriving, equitable and sustainable small-scale fishing communities in South Africa and beyond, through the joint development of technology. Their approach focuses on achieving tangible milestones, driven by a suite of mobile apps, that relate to seafood traceability, fully documented fisheries, fair and transparent supply chains, and community cohesion and entrepreneurship as important precursors to launching longer-term ecological improvement actions associated with a transition towards ecological sustainability.This ‘first of its kind’ fishing ecosystem promotes traceable, storied seafood by empowered small-scale fishers from hook to cook, in an ecologically responsible and socially fair way.

“We had to repurpose our technology to logistics and home deliveries, we’re currently delivering 35% of our previous volumes and climbing.”

Serge Raemaekers, Founder

The Crisis

On 27 March, their market crashed overnight when all restaurants closed and all events were cancelled.

“We had to repurpose our technology to logistics and home deliveries, we’re currently delivering 35% of our previous volumes and climbing,” said Raemaeker.

Raemaekers said the app was originally designed as a scientific tool to record catches and analyse fisheries data.

“After lockdown, we had 1000 new private registrations on our app,” 

Serge Raemaekers, Founder

The Turn Around

“Now with the support of an array of partners, we have developed tools that support a fully digital supply chain and cold chain distribution.,” added Raemaekers.

Through the QR code associated with each delivery, a home user or chef gets the story of the fish and can even text the fisher to thank him or her.

“During the weekend after the first lockdown, we received 1000 new private registrations on our app,” added Raemaekers.

So, in a way the lockdown has opened up new markets for the fishers. “It did mean we needed to adapt our tech and process,” he said.

“As a client Abalobi ticks our boxes for doing business, they are entrepreneurs making a difference in the world using tech.”

Peter Magner, Director of Iridium

Taking hands

“Iridium has helped us to manage our costs and have a good sense of our cash flow. It’s given us a granular look at the business,” said Raemaekers.’ 

They feel part of their operational team, providing cash flow projections and of course helping to ensure the NPO is legally and tax compliant.

According to Iridium director, Peter Magner: “As a client Abalobi ticks our boxes for doing business, they are entrepreneurs making a difference in the world using tech.”

Author avatar

Simon Magner

Based in Cape Town, Simon is on a mission to help small businesses move from base camp to success. With his financial skills and the amazing cloud based software out there, running a business becomes so much easier.