The Indonesian blockchain company HARA is the subject of the first episode in the new Now Go Build series, created by Amazon Web Services (AWS). The first episode was released on the 28th of November and is now available for watching on the Amazon Web Services YouTube channel. In the series, Amazon VP & CTO Werner Vogels travels around the world to meet startup founders to hear about what challenges they face in building their business, and how AWS helps them overcome these.
HARA was selected for the first episode to showcase companies that apply AWS to actively improve the livelihoods of the people that need it the most. The company is building a blockchain-based data exchange that is focused on improving the food and agriculture sector.
“With their tech they connect rural, smallholder farms with banks and distributors of goods, like seeds, fertilizers, and tools. It is simply the sharing of hard to obtain data that makes this possible. With this system, useful information is the basis for good credit and goodwill,” explains Vogels about HARA in the episode.
The filming of the episode in Indonesia took place at the end of September of this year. Vogels first swung by the HARA office in Jakarta to interview the company’s CEO, Regi Wahyu, and CTO, Imron Zuhri, before heading off together to the rice fields near Bogor, West Java, for a live demonstration of how HARA’s technology is being used to benefit the rural communities of smallholder farmers.
“We are collecting any ID that they have. There are 1.5 billion people who have no proper ID in this world. By making them visible, by giving them an identity that they can use to identify themselves, then we can provide access to a lot within the system,” says HARA CTO Imron Zuhri.
One of the issues people in these areas struggle with that is highlighted in the episode is that they lack access to financial institutions, and often must resort to borrowing money from loan sharks at extortionate interest rates that can be as high as 60% per year. HARA is helping these farmers by generating the data that financial institutions need to help them disburse loans.
“Being able to share our mission with the world through Now Go Build is something we are very excited about,” says Regi Wahyu, HARA CEO, “It was great to discuss our project with Werner and show that we are already making an impact, even though this is just the beginning. The feedback we received so far really gives us great confidence for the future.”
Vogels was impressed by what he saw during his visit, taking to Twitter to voice his approval, and later even speaking about HARA during his keynote speech at the International Rice Conference 2018, which was held in October.