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Industrial Insect Company Nutrition Technologies Closes $20M Equity Round


Press release: Nutrition Technologies

Nutrition Technologies announced it has completed an equity venture round of $20 million on September 19. The round 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. The round was advised by ING Corporate Finance. The proceeds will be used to fund an expansion into new markets; launch new products; accelerate R&D; and create new strategic partnerships.

“It is great to welcome our new investors, who collectively bring vast expertise and experience to help us realise our vision. We are also humbled by the continued support provided from our existing shareholders,” said Tom Berry, co-founder and co-CEO, Nutrition Technologies.

The insect sector has gathered increasing attention over the past few years, with the global insect protein market alone estimated to be worth $343 million in 2021, and expected to grow with a CAGR of 26.49 percent to reach $1.3 billion by 2027. As a sustainable solution to help minimise multiple unsustainable practices, the sector as a whole has seen investments totalling nearly $1 billion, but with multiple technological hurdles, few companies are yet to reach industrial scale, let alone profitability.

Global food security has steadily declined for the past few decades and has been significantly tested in recent years through extreme weather events and war. Population growth has fuelled the current 1.2 billion tonnes 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 animal 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 greenhouse gas emissions, and the overuse of chemical fertilisers is severely reducing the productivity and resilience of crucial agricultural soil.

“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.

Since 2015, Singaporean agri-biotech company, Nutrition Technologies, has been creating a commercial replica of the natural decomposition process, using their proprietary growth inoculants and black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) to turn low-grade crop and food waste into highly sought after animal feed ingredients and biofertilisers. Their two hectare production facility in Johor, Malaysia, bioconverts several hundreds of tonnes of organic waste every week. The facility produces functional proteins and oils, which have bioactive compounds that efficiently improve animal growth performance and health outcomes. Over the past few years Nutrition Technologies has conducted multiple trials of their products on fish, shrimp, poultry, piglets and pets, with significant results. Their novel biofertiliser products improve soil health while naturally increasing plant resistance to disease, reducing the need for chemical pesticides. The 165-strong team has been scaling up their operations and selling their 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, co-founder and co-CEO, Nutrition Technologies.

Nutrition Technologies’ production facilities are a result of over seven years of R&D and their strategic location in the tropics helps to optimise productivity and lower costs. Their proprietary technologies and vertical insect production system are designed to capitalise on the low-energy benefits and suitability of a tropical climate. Their team developed the entire production system, which uses some bespoke automated equipment to ensure strict biosafety, zero-waste and strong unit economics. Through avoided emissions, their products have great potential to help meet global climate change targets.

Nutrition Technologies has been doubling down on its success in commercialising insect-microbe systems and their approach to protecting that intellectual property has been lauded by IP experts and publications.

“We have had some incredibly exciting breakthroughs over the past two years. Following successful additions to our patent portfolio, we will launch two new revolutionary biological products to the fertiliser market that will address some of the region’s greatest challenges in crop productivity,” said Martin Zorrilla, Nutrition Technologies.

Nutrition Technologies will use these funds to further expand production capacity both at its current operating plant in Malaysia as well as through a new joint-venture project in a soon-to-be-announced second country in Southeast Asia. The company also intends 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.

 

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