Asian insect protein producer Nutrition Technologies closes US$20m equity round

By Jane Byrne

- Last updated on GMT

Aerial view of NT's production facility in Malaysia © Nutrtition Technologies
Aerial view of NT's production facility in Malaysia © Nutrtition Technologies

Related tags Insect Malaysia

The Singapore headquartered company aims to use the proceeds to fund an expansion into new markets; launch new products; accelerate R&D; and create new strategic partnerships, with a new JV facility elsewhere in Southeast Asia on the horizon.

The US$20m equity round in the Black Soldier Fly (BSF) based producer was led by PTT Ventures and supported by Sumitomo Corporation, ING Sustainable Investments, Mandala Capital, as well as continued participation from existing investors: Openspace Ventures, SEEDs Capital and Hera Capital.

Tom and Nick
Nutrition Technologies was founded in 2015 by two British entrepreneurs, Nick Piggott and Tom Berry. © Nutrition Technologies 

Nutrition Technologies argues that insects represent a virtually unlimited and untapped pool of biological assets, with huge opportunities for value creation. “Tackling food security is only the tip of the iceberg and with our strengthened balance sheet, great partners and best in class IP, we are strategically positioned to lead the next agricultural revolution,​” said Richard Hayler, CFO, Nutrition Technologies.

The investment comes at a critical time for global food security, which the company maintains has steadily declined in the past few decades and has been significantly tested in recent years through extreme weather events and war:

“Population growth has fueled the current 1.2bn tons demand for animal feed ingredients, which has severe environmental consequences both for land and sea. There is a growing protein deficit, with supplies of traditional proteins for feed, such as fishmeal and soybean meal, stagnating due to overfishing and deforestation.

"Meanwhile, organic matter and food waste in landfills are significant contributors of GHG emissions, and the overuse of chemical fertilizers is severely reducing the productivity and resilience of crucial agricultural soil.”

Next steps

The Asian operator is planning to expand production capacity both at its current operating plant in Malaysia as well as through a new JV project in a soon-to-be-announced second country in Southeast Asia. 

inside factory NT
Since 2015, the company has been using proprietary growth inoculants and black soldier flies to turn low-grade crop and food waste into animal feed ingredients and biofertilizers. Its production facility in Johor, Malaysia, bioconverts several hundreds of tons of organic waste every week into functional proteins and oils, with the vertical insect production system employed optimized for the tropical conditions in Southeast Asia. Bespoke automated equipment and industry 4.0 principles ensure strict biosafety and high-quality standards, said the owners. Image of interior of NT's production facility © Nutrition Technologies 

The company is also intending to expand its R&D capabilities in Singapore; commence commercial activities in the UK and EU; and add several new patents to its existing IP portfolio. 

“We believe our technological developments can help address some of the world’s most critical problems and are highly motivated to accelerate expansion as quickly as possible. Our novel microbiology solution to insect production allows us to use a wide pool of raw materials which negates the most significant barrier to scaling,”​ said Charlie Carter, COO, Nutrition Technologies.

Nutrition Technologies has been conducting multiple trials of its products in fish, shrimp, poultry, piglets and pets, and its 165-strong team has been scaling up its operations and selling the products into both domestic and regional markets. “We are increasing production to meet market demand and providing essential ingredients to the domestic agricultural sector as well as boosting exports through shipping our products to Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and Chile. We will also commence shipments to the UK and EU very soon.”​ said Nick Piggott, the company’s co-founder and co-CEO. 

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