We got an exclusive look at the 9-slide pitch deck Innovafeed, an insect protein startup, used to raise $250 million
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- Innovafeed, a startup producing insect feed for animals, just raised $250 million.
- The round was led by the Qatar Investment Authority with participation from Temasek and Creadev.
- We got an exclusive look at the 9-slide pitch deck it used to secure the funding.
A startup developing insect-based food for aqua-farming, pet food, and eventually humans just raised $250 million to ramp up production.
Paris-based Innovafeed was founded in 2016 to use insects to help improve the sustainability of the food system, decrease its carbon footprint, and reduce its impact on biodiversity.
“Our vision was very simple,” cofounder and CEO Clément Ray told Insider.
Innovafeed breeds black soldier flies to create food products for fish farming, poultry and pet food. The flies lay eggs that hatch and become larvae. The larvae is fed with agri-industry byproducts and consume the nutrients in the waste. The high-protein larvae is then processed to make insect meal.
“One of the products we replace in aqua-feed is fish meal,” Ray said. “Fish meal is made of small fish caught in South America, in Africa, turned into a meal to feed other food production. It has a significant impact on biodiversity and a significant carbon footprint. We are enabling to aquaculture to grow in a lot more sustainable way.”
Replacing fish meal with Innovafeed’s product reduces the carbon footprint of salmon feed by 50%, the cofounder said. The company is operating one of the world’s biggest vertical insect farms in France and plans to build another plant in Illinois next year, Ray said.
Its plants are automated, with the company using AI and robotics to collect, sort and process larvae. It also uses a range of sensors and monitoring technology to ensure the right growing conditions, for example the temperature and humidity of a vertical farm.
The new site will have a final capacity of 100,000 tonnes of ingredients, of which 15,000 will be insect protein. It also produces insect oil.
The company also plans to launch an impact committee that will be made up of a both internal and external individuals including employees and NGOs, to ensure impact is at the center of its strategy as it grows.
“We believe that we have a positive intrinsic impact by growing the insect protein industry but we want to be challenged and build things in the best way,” Ray said.
Innovafeed also expects to enter the human-food market by the end of 2023, with its insect-base products to be used as an ingredient.
The funding round, which brings the company’s total raised to $450 million, was led by Qatar Investment Authority with participation from existing investors Creadev and Temasek. Multinational food and agriculture companies ADM and Cargill joined the rough as strategic investors.
The fresh cash also includes €38 million (around $37.6 million) in debt financing from French banks.
It will be used to continue investing in technology, bring the new plants to fruition and grow its 400-strong headcount.
Check out the 9-slide redacted pitch deck below.