Industrial insect company Nutrition Technologies closes $20 million funding round

Press Release: Nutrition Technologies

Nutrition Technologies announced the closing of a $20 million funding round on September 19. The round was led by PTT Ventures and backed by Sumitomo Corporation, ING Sustainable Investments, Mandala Capital, along with continued participation from existing investors: Openspace Ventures, SEEDs Capitale and Héra Capitale. The cycle was advised by ING Corporate Finance. Proceeds will be used to fund expansion into new markets; launch new products; accelerate R&D; and create new strategic partnerships.

“It’s great to welcome our new investors, who collectively bring a wealth of expertise and experience to help us realize our vision. We are also humbled by the continued support provided by our existing shareholders,” said Tom Berry, co-founder and co-CEO of Nutrition Technologies.

The insect sector has attracted increasing attention over the past few years, with the global insect protein market alone estimated at $343 million in 2021, and is expected to grow with a CAGR of 26.49% to reach 1 .3 billion by 2027. As a sustainable solution To help minimize multiple unsustainable practices, the sector as a whole has seen investments totaling nearly $1 billion, but with multiple technology barriers, few d ‘companies have not yet reached industrial scale, let alone profitability.

Global food security has steadily declined over the past decades and has been significantly challenged in recent years by extreme weather events and wars. Population growth has fueled the current demand for 1.2 billion tons of animal feed ingredients, which has serious environmental consequences for both land and sea. There is a growing protein deficit, with traditional protein supplies for animal feed, such as fishmeal and soybean meal, which are stagnating due to overfishing and deforestation. Meanwhile, organic matter and food waste in landfills are significant contributors to greenhouse gas emissions, and the overuse of chemical fertilizers dramatically reduces the productivity and resilience of critical agricultural soils.

“Insects represent a virtually unlimited and untapped pool of biological assets, with enormous opportunities for value creation. Tackling food security is just the tip of the iceberg and with our strengthened balance sheet, great partners and best-in-class intellectual property, we are strategically positioned to lead the next agricultural revolution,” said Richard Hayler, CFO, Nutrition Technologies.

Since 2015, Singaporean agri-biotech company Nutrition Technologies has been creating a commercial replica of the natural decomposition process, using its proprietary growth inoculants and black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) to turn low-grade agricultural and food waste into highly sought-after animal feed ingredients and biofertilizers. Their two-hectare production site in Johor, Malaysia, bioconverts several hundred tonnes of organic waste every week. The facility produces functional proteins and oils, which contain bioactive compounds that effectively improve growth performance and animal health outcomes. Over the past several years, Nutrition Technologies has conducted several trials of its products on fish, shrimp, poultry, piglets and companion animals, with significant results. Their new biofertilizer products improve soil health while naturally increasing plant resistance to disease, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. The 165-person team scaled up its operations and sold its products in national and regional markets.

“We are increasing production to meet market demand and supplying essential ingredients to the domestic agricultural sector, while increasing exports by shipping our products to Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines and Chile. We will also begin shipping to the UK and EU very soon,” said Nick Piggott, co-founder and co-CEO of Nutrition Technologies.

Nutrition Technologies’ production facilities are the result of more than seven years of R&D and their strategic location in the tropics helps maximize productivity and reduce costs. Their proprietary technologies and vertical insect production system are designed to take advantage of the benefits of low energy consumption and suitability for a tropical climate. Their team developed the entire production system, which uses bespoke automated equipment to ensure strict biosecurity, zero waste and strong unit economics. With avoided emissions, their products have great potential to help meet global climate change goals.

Nutrition Technologies has doubled its success in commercializing insect-microbe systems and their approach to protecting this intellectual property has been praised by intellectual property experts and publications.

“We’ve had some incredibly exciting breakthroughs over the past two years. Following successful additions to our patent portfolio, we will be launching two groundbreaking new biologics into the fertilizer market that will address some of the region’s biggest crop productivity challenges,” said Martin Zorrilla, Nutrition Technologies.

Nutrition Technologies will use the funds to further expand production capacity at its current plant in Malaysia as well as through a new joint venture project in a soon-to-be-announced second Southeast Asian country. The company also intends to expand its R&D capabilities in Singapore; start trading in the UK and EU; and add several new patents to its existing intellectual property portfolio.

“We believe our technology developments can help solve some of the world’s most critical issues and we are highly motivated to accelerate expansion as quickly as possible. Our new microbiology solution for insect production allows us to use a large pool of raw materials which removes the most significant barrier to scale-up,” said Charlie Carter, COO, Nutrition Technologies.