Insect Breeding Innovator Ynsect Raises $15.2m in Series B
Ynsect – the global leader in the massscale breeding of insects for the animal feed markets – announced that it has closed a $15.2m Series B round led by Future Positive Capital, Quadia SA and Bpifrance Ecotechnologies, with participation from existing investors Emertec, Demeter, Vis Vires New Protein Capital and Business Angels. This latest round brings the cumulative amount Ynsect has raised, from private and public sources, to $37m over the last three years – the largest-ever investment in the sector.
The announcement comes as EU member states this week endorsed a European Commission proposal to allow the wider use of insect proteins in animal feed. A vote taken on Tuesday, during a session of the EU Standing Committee on Plants, Animals, Food and Feed (SCoPAFF), clears the way for insect proteins to be used in fish feed in Europe from July 2017. An industry game-changer, the decision was brought about in large part thanks to the advocacy work of the International Platform for Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), of which Ynsect’s CEO Antoine Hubert is President.
Ynsect farms and transforms insects into a high-quality natural diet for livestock and pet nutrition. With cutting-edge R&D, patented technologies and a world-leading multidisciplinary team, whose skills range from physiological entomology to biochemistry through robotics and IT, Ynsect was founded on a single visionary idea: placing insect-derived protein at the heart of the agri-food system to sustainably address the growing global demand for meat and fish.
“Few people today are aware of how the animals they eat have been fed,” explains Ynsect CEO Antoine Hubert, who cofounded the company in September 2011 alongside Alexis Angot, Jean-Gabriel Levon and Fabrice Berro. “In fact, farmed animals mostly consume GM soya, grains, and sometimes poultry feather meal, as well as fish meal. It was fish meal, in particular, which caught our attention. Fish meal is derived from catches of small fish, the global supply of which is under duress due to overfishing. In turn, that’s causing severe depletion of ocean biodiversity, and leading to food safety concerns due to the high content of heavy metals which bioaccumulate within dwindling fish stocks.”
While insects account for a significant share of the diets of fish, birds and mammals in the wild, the same isn’t true of their farmed equivalents, Antoine Hubert continues. “At Ynsect, we produce insect proteins that can change this unnatural and unsustainable situation. We can now feed animals with a higher quality and more nutritious diet, while reducing the amount of fish meal they consume. Crucially, we can also combine this with far greater sustainability.”
Sofia Hmich, founder of Future Positive Capital, says: “This investment shows our longterm commitment to finding and supporting companies who are tackling intractable global challenges head on, with world-beating IP and flawless execution. We’re so excited for Antoine and his team, and looking forward to seeing Ynsect grow into a major global agro-food player.” (Sofia Hmich has published a post that highlights her investment thesis about Ynsect.)
Gilles Schang, Deputy Managing Director Ecotechnology Investments at Bpifrance Investment, adds: “Ynsect is a true pioneer in breeding insects for animal feed and has established itself as the frontrunner in the rapid development of this market. We are delighted to be positioning ourselves alongside the company’s founders and management in order to make Ynsect the global leader of disruptive agro-food technologies and to deploy worldwide the expertise they have developed in France.”
Founded in 2011 by Alexis Angot, Fabrice Berro, Antoine Hubert and Jean Gabriel Levon, Ynsect is an innovation company which farms and transforms insects into a high-quality natural diet to meet the needs of the (farmed and domestic) animal feed markets, and potentially, in the longer term, human nutrition markets too. With cuttingedge R&D, patented technologies and a world-leading multidisciplinary team, Ynsect was founded on a visionary idea: placing insect-derived protein at the heart of the agrifood system to sustainably address the growing global demand for meat and fish.
Source: Press Release