Singaporean startup raises funds to scale up insect production facility
Tuesday, August 24, 2021
Singapore-based alternative protein company, INSEACT, raised $1.3 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round. Investors of the round include ADB Ventures (the Asian Development Bank’s venture capital arm), one of the largest global shrimp producers, an European Family Office, Loyal VC, INSEAD Asia Angels Club, as well as various private investors such as INSEAD Business School’s Private Equity professor, Claudia Zeisberger, and Co-founder of Europe-based Standard Investment, Idgar Kippersluis.
INSEACT produces sustainable back soldier fly protein (XFprotein) for aquaculture, with shrimp feeds being its initial market. The company uses waste from palm oil operations as a raw material to feed the insects.
The seed funding will be used to build a BSF pilot production and R&D site in Singapore and begin delivering the product to INSEACT’s customers. Prior to fundraising, INSEACT successfully demonstrated market validation to the investors with agreements of purchase and research partnerships.
Tim van Vliet, CEO of INSEACT, said that “sustainable insect-derived products are the key to solving a wide range of environmental problems. Our customers see conclusive evidence of shrimp growth benefits from our protein products, leading to significant cost savings and reduced feed consumption. INSEACT is home to almost the entire global production of farmed seafood. With the increasing cost basis of outdated fish and shrimp farming practices, we are receiving snowballing demand and plan to achieve industrial-scale insect protein production in record time.”
Modular insect rearing system
INSEACT has been developing a modular insect rearing system catered for flexible and predictable scaling of production capacity. The system makes scaling-up easy by enabling lean, evidence-based decisions to determine incremental changes in production capacity. This next-gen vertical rearing system drastically reduces the company’s capital costs and boosting overall operational efficiencies.
Michael Badeski, COO, added that “the insect industry today is still young and innovating quickly, meaning production methods a few years from now will be vastly different from what we see now. Flexibility-by-design in the way we scale production keeps us nimble to maintain industry-leading efficiency.”
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