Latin America

Sumitomo Corporation invests in Brazilian insect protein production and biotechnology

The investment will support Cyns’ next stage of growth, in which they plan to establish a new facility and reach new markets including aquafeeds in Brazil and Latam.

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January 31, 2024

Sumitomo Corporation, through Sumitomo Corporation do Brasil S.A., announced a joint investment in a Seed round for Cyns, a biotechnology company located in Sao Paulo, Brazil, to unlock the next chapter of black soldier fly (BSF) farming in Latin America. Lambarin Investimentos, a Brazilian family office and wealth management firm, has also joined the Seed Funding Round together with Sumitomo.

The first company to receive regulatory approval in Brazil

Cyns is the leading biotechnology company specializing in sustainable insect-based animal nutrition in South America, having been the first company to obtain regulatory approval to produce and market black soldier fly-based ingredients for animal nutrition in Brazil. The company is located in Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, the most prominent agtech valley in Brazil, and has developed a unique, cost-competitive horizontal BSF rearing system that delivers high bioconversion rates with minimum HVAC requirements by leveraging Brazil’s naturally-suitable conditions for BSF rearing and large availability of sustainable food byproduct streams which are used as the source of nutrition for BSF larvae.

Cyns originated in 2015 as a project incubated by Bug Biological Agents, which was the pioneer in insect rearing for biological pest control in Latam. In 2020, it received its first angel investment from Lambarin Investimentos, and in 2022, Cyns opened Brazil’s first BSF industrial pilot to receive regulatory approval. Since then, Cyns has successfully introduced its ingredients to the market, which can now be found in dog treats, bird and other exotic pet foods available in Brazil’s largest pet retail outlets.

“We are excited to support the accelerated growth and distribution of alternative feed ingredients needed for animal feeds in Latin America,” said João Simões, Insect Protein project leader at Sumitomo Corporation do Brasil S.A.

“Ensuring a sustainable supply chain while reducing its carbon footprint is critical in today’s business landscape, and we are proud to partner with Cyns to accomplish this important work. We believe that we have an extremely competitive technology and have developed a very high-quality product. The partnership with Lambarim and Sumitomo will expand our commercial operations in America and around the world and allow us to scale production at the levels that this business demands,” said João Pisa, Cyns director.

Scaling up

Sumitomo and Lambarin’s new investment will support Cyns’ next stage of growth, in which they plan to establish a brand new BSF rearing facility that will be able to produce 1,000 MT of BSF meal/year, and reach new markets including dog and cat food, aquaculture and monogastric livestock in Brazil and Latam. The company is also preparing for its Series A investment round, expected in 2026 when the company should be ready to expand production capacity in Brazil and internationally, starting from neighboring countries in South America.

Together with the investment, Sumitomo Corporation do Brasil has also inked a commercial partnership agreement with Cyns, under which Sumitomo Corporation do Brasil will be in charge of application development and R&D, as well as marketing Cyns’ products in the Americas region. Sumitomo Corporation has a strong presence within the agricultural/livestock sectors through the company’s agricultural input distribution businesses (AgroAmazonia), which allows the corporation to contribute further to Cyns by supporting the adoption of Cyns products throughout its network.

A new investment in the insect industry for Sumitomo

This investment follows the investment and distribution partnership with Nutrition Technologies in Asia. “Sumitomo Corporation is deeply committed to finding business opportunities with a positive climate impact. In that sense, this project aligns with our strategy because i) livestock/animal feed (including pets) is one of the major contributors to GHG emissions and ii) Brazil and South America are among the world’s largest livestock producers (aquaculture, swine, and poultry, plus Brazil is the 3rd largest pet food market), making this a very sizable opportunity to attain such a goal,” the company told

“Insect-derived ingredients are positioned as one of the main scalable opportunities to decarbonize the livestock industry, and Brazil has attractive competitive advantages on both the demand (large addressable market) and supply (suitable climate and large deposits of agricultural byproducts that are used as a source of nutrition for insects) sides. An important portion of the decarbonization mission of insect protein is local production, local consumption (to avoid additional emissions by moving bulky materials throughout long distances). Therefore, the main components of the equation are 1) Brazil as a large addressable market with some of the most suitable conditions for insect farming (suitable climate and large deposits of agricultural byproducts as raw materials) and 2) local production, local consumption, e.g. making insect protein even more sustainable by enabling consumption as close as possible to production,” the company said.

“We believe the Latam market has many opportunities where insect proteins can be incorporated, including pet food all across aquaculture in Ecuador, Chile and Brazil, and swine and poultry in Brazil. We are conscious of the need to quickly scale production capacity to be able to serve such growing markets, and our main intention with this investment is to support Cyns in their growth plan,” the company concluded.