Alternative Protein Company INSEACT Raises $1.3 Mn Funding

The Seed funding will be used to build a BSF pilot production and R&D site in Singapore and to begin delivering products to INSEACT's customers

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Singapore-based alternative protein company INSEACT, on Monday, announced that it has raised $1.3 million in an oversubscribed Seed funding round.

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Investors of the round include ADB Ventures (the Asian Development Bank’s venture capital arm), one of the largest global shrimp producers, a European Family Office, Loyal VC, INSEAD Asia Angels Club, as well as various private investors such as INSEAD Business School’s Private Equity professor, Claudia Zeisberger, and co-founder of Europe-based Standard Investment, Idgar Kippersluis.

The company specializes in producing sustainable insect protein for aquaculture, starting with shrimp feed. INSEACT uses waste from palm oil operations as a raw material to feed the insects. The company is currently preparing for another round of fundraising to further expand.

“Alternative proteins will play a critical role in addressing Asia's growing need for sustainable and affordable food supply. We believe INSEACT's unique solution and approach has a real potential to scale. ADB Ventures is excited about backing the team at INSEACT and support them to become a leading player in this fast-paced space," said Kean Ng, venture specialist, ADB Ventures.

The company claims to be tapping into the fast-growing aquaculture feed market (13.3 per cent CAGR), projected to reach $156 billion globally by 2022, of which 89 per cent is in Asia.

 “Sustainable insect-derived products are the key to solving a wide range of environmental problems. Our customers are seeing conclusive evidence of shrimp growth benefits from our protein products, leading to significant cost savings and reduced feed consumption. INSEACT is strategically positioned in the Asian market, home to almost the entire global production of farmed seafood. With the increasing cost basis of outdated fish and shrimp farming practices, we are receiving snowballing demand and plan to achieve industrial-scale insect protein production in record time,” shared Tim van Vliet, chief executive officer, INSEACT.

INSEACT has been developing a modular insect rearing system catered for flexible and predictable scaling of production capacity. The system makes scaling-up easy by enabling lean, evidence-based decisions to determine incremental changes in production capacity. This next-gen vertical rearing system drastically reduces the company’s capital costs and boosting overall operational efficiencies.

 “The insect industry today is still young and innovating quickly, meaning production methods a few years from now will be vastly different from what we see now. Flexibility-by-design in the way we scale production keeps us nimble to maintain industry-leading efficiency,” added Michael Badeski, chief operating officer, INSEACT.

The Seed funding is being used to build a BSF pilot production and R&D site in Singapore and to begin delivering products to INSEACT’s customers. Prior to fundraising, INSEACT successfully demonstrated market validation to the investors with agreements of purchase, research partnerships, and its talented entomology and engineering team.