Tuesday, October 6, 2020

French Insect Farming Startup Ÿnsect Raised $372 Million In A Series C Round

From The Fish Site, October 6:

Insect farming startup Ÿnsect has extended its Series C funding to $372 million – the largest amount ever raised by a non-American agtech business.

The new capital will fund completion of the largest insect farm in the world, due to open in Amiens, France in early 2022. The facility is slated to generate 100,000 tonnes of insect products annually, as well as create 500 direct and indirect jobs. The investment will also let the company expand beyond Europe and Asia into the United States, with the support of its first US-based investors, Upfront Ventures and FootPrint Coalition; and grow its markets into the supply of wet pet food.

A growing global population mixed with rising incomes have increased demand for protein and plants worldwide, not only for human consumption but also as a source of food for the fish, poultry, pigs and livestock that people eat. According to the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organisation, consumption of animal proteins will grow by 52 percent between 2007 and 2030. The spike in demand for protein and plants poses a serious risk for the world’s already fragile ecosystems, requiring extra water and land and generating greenhouse gas emissions.

To address this problem, Ÿnsect has created a patented process for cultivating mealworm to produce a variety of feed and fertiliser products – replacing animal proteins consumed in the supply chain by fish and livestock farms and pet food as well as fertilisers used in plant nutrition, while leading to greater yields and health benefits for the animals and plants being fed.

Several scientific studies have demonstrated that using Ÿnsect products in place of traditional animal proteins and chemical fertilizers have led to a 34 percent increase in yield for rainbow trout, a 40 percent mortality reduction on shrimp; a 25 percent increase in yield for rapeseed; a 25 percent mortality reduction for seabass.

According to the French startup, the new funding, and over $105 million in sales contracts, reflect the dramatic yield and health benefits of the Molitor mealworm versus other insect species, and in particular the black soldier fly....