The round takes the company to US$450m worth of financing to date, pushing it ahead of another France based competitor, Ÿnsect, which has snagged around US$425m from investors so far.
The Series D round for Innovafeed was led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA), with other participants including existing investors, Creadev and Temasek, and new strategic and financial backers: ADM and Cargill – both of which have strategic partnerships with the company – as well as Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward.
"The confidence demonstrated in us by our partners through a new round of fundraising confirms the insect industry is a key solution for our planet’s food production needs. Their support will allow us to accelerate our deployment in service of an ever healthier, natural. and sustainable food system," said Clément Ray, co-founder and CEO of Innovafeed.
Innovafeed added that it has secured commercial partnerships for volumes representing more than €1bn over the next 10 years.
It said it will use the latest funds to continue to increase production capacity in France through the further expansion of its Black Soldier Fly (BSF) based Nesle production site in the Somme department. The capital will also go towards its international expansion strategy, notably in the US with the construction of a new production plant in Decatur, Illinois, in collaboration with ADM. In addition, the round will support a global roll-out of Innovafeed's technology as well as ensuring ongoing investment in ingredient R&D.
Danone veteran joins as COO
The insect player also made some team changes: Yves Amsellem has joined it as its new chief operating officer. He has over 30 years of experience in end-to-end supply chains for international food and beverage and industrial groups, including Danone and Chromology.
In addition, Innovafeed has appointed Maye Walraven as general manager for its operations in North America, a newly created role. She was previously the company’s vice president of business development. "Our expansion in the US is a critical step for our scale-up. It will enable us to access a deep source of feedstock and significantly increase our production capacity,” she commented.
Moreover, the company told us previously that it sees the US as a promising market to launch ingredient solutions for human consumption.
Currently, the majority of Innovafeed's insect protein output is directed at the aquaculture market, a segment that is set to remain strategic and a priority for the innovator over the next three to five years.
Besides the new appointments, the company also revealed that it has created an impact committee to place sustainable development and social impact at the heart of its business model and thus reinforce the global positive impact of the industry.
That commitee will comprise an equal number of internal and external members and will be chaired by Dr Darian McBain, who was formerly global director of corporate affairs and sustainability at seafood conglomerate, Thai Union.
Innovafeed said the layout of its Nesle plant is centered around a model of industrial symbiosis with its industrial partners, allowing 100% circular production that saves 57,000T of CO2 every year. "This model makes the Nesle site the most environmentally efficient in the world, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 80% compared to other existing models - according to the LCA study carried out by independent experts, Quantis.”