SINGAPORE-BASED agrifoodtech startup Nutrition Technologies has raised US$5 million in a pre-Series B funding led by Hera Capital, with participation from existing investors Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore.
To date, the company has raised US$14 million. It will use the fresh funding to fund research and development (R&D) and to enter new markets in South-east Asia.
Nutrition Technologies has opened its first industrial-scale insect protein factory in Iskandar Puteri, Johor, Malaysia. Since 2014, the company has been using black soldier flies to turn low-grade food waste and organic by-products into proteins and oils as a sustainable alternative to fishmeal, an ingredient commonly used in animal feed.
The factory, which spans 2.5 hectares and has 150 employees, cost US$7 million to build. The company is aiming for the facility to be carbon negative at full capacity.
The company's co-chief executive and co-founder Nick Piggott said: "When fully operational, our new plant will produce 16,000 tonnes of insect products per year. This will divert 80,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfills and save tens of thousands of pelagic fish in the oceans by providing a substitute for fishmeal."
Nutrition Technology is targeting to raise US$30 million in Series B funds in Q3. The round will be used to increase production capacity 10-fold to meet its current pipeline demand. Its is looking to expand production in Malaysia while establishing new industrial-scale plants in Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. An R&D centre will be established in Singapore, where it can connect with industry partners and investors.
"Over the next 10 years, we plan to build a large network of insect farms across the region, supplying a new high-quality insectmeal to support the growth of aquaculture and livestock production in Asia," said Tom Berry, co-chief executive and co-founder of Nutrition Technologies.