The company is not disclosing the full amount raised, at the request of one of the investors, said Nick Piggott, co-founder and CEO of the company.
However, a local media outlet reported that the capital generated hit the US$8.5m mark.
The investors included OpenSpace Ventures, Neptune Capital, Nullabor, and SEEDS Capital, said the CEO.
Nutrition Technologies, which produces protein, oil and fertilizer products, based on the Black Soldier Fly (BSF), said the capital raised will go towards the establishment of its new manufacturing plant, the location of which is in Johor, Malaysia.
“We’re moving into a renovated factory site to increase our speed to market, so will be producing by the end of 2019, and at full capacity by the end of 2020,” Piggott told us.
When operational, the facility will be Southeast Asia’s largest insect production facility, with capacity for over 18,000 tons of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilisers every year, said the company.
Hi.Protein insect meal is Nutrition Technologies’ flagship product. The CEO said it is an economical and scalable alternative to competing fishmeal products on the market.
“We currently sell below the price of fishmeal imported to Asia,” he said, noting that the key to being 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.
Factory roll-out, target markets
The SE Asia region, which offers low operating costs, is the company's preferred location for manufacturing, continued the CEO. “Our production system is optimized for the conditions and the raw materials.”
Nutrition Technologies is planning to build further facilities across SE Asia over the next five years, said the executive.
In terms of where those additional production plants would be built, Piggott identified Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia as the likely locations.
The company currently sells to customers based in SE Asia and in wider Asian markets including Korea and Japan. “We also have a pipeline of clients in the US awaiting our scale-up.”
It is not just targeting the aquaculture sector: “We also sell into the pet food market and we have clients in the swine sector pending import approvals in their country.”
The company said it also intends to direct a large portion of the funds raised towards BSF genetics and biology research.