Rabobank Group has been involved with Protix since its founding more than ten years ago.
“The undisclosed deal parameters reflect RCI’s belief in the vast potential and importance of insect ingredients and Protix global frontrunner position within this industry.
"Rabobank was an early stage impact investor through Shift/Dutch Greentech Fund. This venture capital focused fund made a successful exit with the successful €45m capital raised in 2017. RCI is the private equity arm of the Rabobank and evaluates deals independently based on the business merits and progress of the company. The early stage arm (Shift/DGF) was through a separate fund backed by Rabobank.
“Now that Protix has met many important new milestones, RCI deems this the time right to once again invest as shareholder. RCI can support Protix with its international expansion and capital raising plans,” said Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix.
Last year, Protix opened its insect factory in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands, the world’s largest, industrial-scale and automated production facility for insect farming. Some €40m was invested in that plant.
Production capacity, international expansion
The insect producer said it intends to use this fresh capital injection from RCI to scale up the production of insect protein and oils in the Netherlands and also to accelerate the roll-out of its international business.
“The proceeds will be applied for further strengthening the growth functions in our organization like business development, engineering and R&D. We will also further expand our ingredient portfolio and it gives Protix room to further [increase] production capacity. Expanding capacity in the Netherlands is definitely also on the list of projects,” Aarts told us.
In terms of when and where international expansion would take place, the CEO said: “We want to expand outside of the Netherlands - in Europe, and in North America – and we are also considering franchising our technology to investors in Asia and South America. The latter is in development and we will communicate more about it at the end of the year or early 2021.”