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Biotech Startup Loopworm Raises $3.4 Mn Seed Round From Omnivore & WaterBridge Loopworm plans to use the seed funding for talent acquisition, R&D, and to launch their first factory for scaling up production

By Soumya Duggal

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Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, co-founders, Loopworm

Indian insect biotech startup Loopworm has raised a USD 3.4 million seed round co-led by Omnivore and WaterBridge Ventures, with participation from Titan Capital and angel investors such as Nadir Godrej (Godrej Agrovet), Sanjiv Rangrass (ex-ITC), and Akshay Singhal (Log9 Materials).

Loopworm is optimizing insect farming for smallholders while producing value-added nutrients and ingredients for B2B customers, said a statement. The company plans to use the seed funding for talent acquisition, R&D (including building world-class laboratories), and to launch their first factory for scaling up production, added the statement.

Loopworm is Omnivore's second investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which backs early-stage agrifood life science startups. Over the next 5 years, the startup aims to produce 300,000 MT of sustainable insect-based protein per annum, creating value from 7.5 million MT of food waste and agricultural byproducts.

"We are thrilled to have Omnivore, Waterbridge, Titan Capital, and several experienced angels, including Nadir Godrej, as investors in Loopworm. We plan to use the new funding to set up our first Loop Factory in North Bangalore, hire talent, and accelerate R&D," said Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, co-founders, Loopworm.

"Omnivore is delighted to back Loopworm under our OmniX Bio initiative, which seeks to blaze a path forward for agrifood life sciences in India. Loopworm sees massive potential in transforming cultivated insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients, and Omnivore believes the company will quickly become one of India's leading biotech startups," said Mark Kahn, managing partner, Omnivore.

"We are excited to see Ankit and Abhi solving for sustainable and scalable food resources which are traceable and hence easier for mainstream adoption. Loopworm, sitting at the cusp of climate-tech and food-tech, has the potential to continue moving up the value chain as its product suite evolves and emerges as a truly scaled player," said Ashish Jain, partner, WaterBridge Ventures.

Based in Bangalore, Loopworm was founded in 2019 by IIT Roorkee graduates Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri. The two entrepreneurs aim to solve India's food waste crisis, increase the incomes of smallholder farmers, and showcase the power of Indian biotechnology to address environmental challenges. Using multi-species insect biotechnology, Loopworm is upcycling food waste into protein-rich nutrients and value-added ingredients and hopes to help transform multiple sectors including aquaculture, pet food, and nutraceuticals, said the statement.

Soumya Duggal

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