AGRI-FOOD tech firm Nutrition Technologies has closed a Series A funding round from a consortium of investors led by Openspace Ventures and Seeds Capital. The Business Times understands that US$8.5 million was raised from the round.
The funds will be used to set up a commercial-scale insect protein facility which can produce over 18,000 tonnes of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilisers every year.
The facility, which Nutrition Technologies says is the largest in South-east Asia, will manufacture its flagship Hi.Protein insectmeal product.
A "significant portion" of funds will also be used for its black soldier fly genetics and biology research. Nutrition Technologies produces protein from black solider fly larvae as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal, which is a common ingredient found in animal feed.
Seeds Capital and Enterprise Singapore will also continue its work with Nutrition Technologies to support its manufacturing expansion plans in South-east Asia in the next two to three years. This is by connecting the firm with industry partners in aquaculture and alternative protein innovation.
Nick Piggott, Nutrition Technologies co-founder and CEO, said the company is in a “very strong position” given the low operating costs in South-east Asia and ideal tropical rearing conditions.
"The key to be successful in this sector is being able to produce a consistently high quality product at an affordable price for feed manufacturers without charging a sustainability premium," he added.
Openspace Ventures partner Hian Goh said Nutrition Technologies has the perfect combination of climate, technology and partners to fulfil its mission. The funding is also part of the firm’s "Openhand" initiative to follow United Nations-supported principles for responsible investment which leverage environmental, social and governance factors in the agri-food tech space.
Ted Tan, Seeds Capital chairman and deputy chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore, added: "We hope to catalyse more investments in this area as we develop Singapore into a leading urban agriculture and aquaculture hub in Asia."