French insect feed protein producer gets €40m cash injection

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

© GettyImages/Danita Delimont
© GettyImages/Danita Delimont
InnovaFeed, an Evry, France-based biotech company producing Black Soldier Fly (BSF) derived protein for the feed industry, has raised another €40m in funding from international investors, bringing to over €55m the total amount of funds it has generated in 2018.

That €55m includes the company’s series A funding round in February​, which included regional and private funds. It said the support of the new investors would enable it to accelerate development in a big way.

Maye Walraven, marketing and business development executive at InnovaFeed, expanding on this latest investment round and other developments at the French company, told us:

“We have secured an additional €40m, out of which a majority comes from capital injections from several new international investors led by CREADEV, a French private equity investment firm, controlled by the Mulliez family, which is committed to long-term collaboration with innovative and passionate entrepreneurs.

“CREADEV strongly believes in the potential of the insect production sector for feed and that InnovaFeed’s strategic decisions and processes will make it successful in the long term.”

She said, with this capital injection, InnovaFeed, which was only established in 2015, will, in the short-term, strengthen its team. In the mid-term, the funding will allow the company to deploy its production model at a large scale, including international expansion by the end of 2022, to "anchor insect production as a keystone of more resilient, natural and sustainable food systems"​. 

The company is primarily targeting its insect meal at the rapidly growing aquaculture sector.

InnovaFeed will invest in five new production sites by 2020, she added.

Following the implementation of the new European regulations, in late 2017, allowing the use of insect protein in aquaculture, InnovaFeed launched a pilot site which kicked-off its industrial production.

It said, that throughout 2018, it has laid the foundations to scale up its industrial and commercial activity.

"This financing operation validates the soundness and the maturity of InnovaFeed’s model, both from the stand point of the project’s purpose and from its economic viability.

"We believe that the success of our project will rely first and foremost on building a world class team, with strong values. It will also require deploying our model into new geographies, starting with Europe and the US."

Tereos tie-up, trout feeding partnership  

In September this year, InnovaFeed announced that its next insect protein production unit would be located in Nesle, in the Somme department in France, as part of a partnership with French co-operative, Téréos. It will use co-products from the Téréos starch facility there as a basic feed for breeding insects. That production site will bring InnovaFeed’s production capacity up to 10,000 tons of protein per year.

InnovaFeed also announced a tie-up with French supermarket chain​, Auchan, in October 2017, whereby that retailer’s listed trout farmers would use meal incorporating InnovaFeed's insect protein in their production.

Since that announcement, farmers, located in Brittany, have been integrating the meal into the diet of their farmed trout.  

In terms of where that partnership is at, Walraven said Auchan will be launching the insect fed trout in 52 of its stores next week.

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