Insect meal producer Protix attracts over US$18m in investment
Existing shareholders Aqua-Spark, Rabo Corporate Investments and the Brabrant Development Company (BOM) participated in the latest round, and Dutch investment agency, Invest-NL, advanced €7.5m in capital as a new investor.
“With this funding round, Protix can further optimize production capacity and accelerate its international expansion,” said the company that breeds larvae from the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) and processes them into ingredients like proteins and lipids for use in feed.
In terms of what the first staging posts would be in that international rollout, Kees Aarts, founder and CEO of Protix, told us in March 2020: “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.”
In 2019, Protix opened its insect factory in Bergen op Zoom in the Netherlands, a massive, industrial-scale and automated production facility for insect farming. Some €40m was invested in that plant, and within months of the opening of that factory, Protix attracted investor, Rabo Corporate Investments, as a shareholder.
EU insect regulation
In November last year, we reported on how the legislative work to authorize insect proteins for use in poultry and pig feed in Europe was intensifying.
A virtual workshop, that month, organized by the Brussels based industry group, the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF), heard from European Commission spokespersons on this, notably Sabine Juelicher, Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety.
She said the Commission was determining how to manage the transition to a more environment friendly food system, under the EU Green Deal, one that provides social security and economic sustainability.
“We recognize the role that insect farming can play in the Farm to Fork strategy, in making our food systems more sustainable,” she commented.
She said the Commission is “working intensively” with member states to have insect protein authorized for use in poultry and pig feed. “It is part of a bigger, complex package; nevertheless, we see a lot of opportunity around opening up the market for insect protein.”