Press release: Nutrition Technologies
Singapore-based agri-food tech company Nutrition Technologies closed a Series A funding round from a consortium of investors led by Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore. The funding will be used to establish the largest high-tech commercial-scale insect protein production facility in Southeast Asia, which can produce over 18,000 tons of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilizers every year.
This round of investment is the first since SEEDS Capital appointed seven co-investment partners in January to catalyze over $90 million worth of investments to develop Singapore-based agri-food tech startups. Openspace Ventures is one of the co-investors selected based on its investment track record, strong commercialization resources, networks and familiarity with the agri-food tech startup ecosystem.
As pet owners are becoming increasingly environmentally conscious, feed manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe have responded by releasing a number of insect-based treats and feeds.
However, while demand for more sustainable products is high, the supply of high-quality insect-based ingredients is limited. Nutrition Technologies entered the market in 2018, producing protein and oil from black soldier fly larvae, as a sustainable alternative to the existing meat ingredients commonly used in pet foods.
The new industrial-scale facility will incorporate Nutrition Technologies’ proprietary insect-rearing production system to manufacture Hi.Protein insectmeal, its flagship product, as an economical and scalable alternative pet food ingredient. Nutrition Technologies will also dedicate a significant portion of the funds to continue its cutting-edge black soldier fly genetics and biology research.
“The key to be successful in this sector is being able to produce a consistently high-quality product at an affordable price for feed manufacturers without charging a sustainability premium,” said Nick Piggott, co-founder and CEO of Nutrition Technologies. “We have achieved this by developing a unique combination of bio-processing steps, which enables us to optimize the nutrient uptake in our insect larvae. Coupled with the low operating costs in Southeast Asia, and the ideal tropical rearing conditions, we’re in a very strong position.”
“Nutrition Technologies is injecting innovation into an industry that has been around for over 12,000 years. Asia is the breadbasket of the world; over 89 percent of aquaculture, along with the farming of 33 percent of chickens and 65 percent of pigs, happen here. We feel that Nutrition Technologies has the perfect combination of climate, technology and partners to fulfill its mission,” said Hian Goh, partner at Openspace Ventures. “This is also a part of our ‘OPENHAND’ initiative to follow United Nations-supported Principles for Responsible Investment where we leverage environmental, social and governance factors in the agri-food tech space to transform how we feed the world.”
Moving forward, SEEDS Capital and Enterprise Singapore will continue to work with Nutrition Technologies to connect with industry partners in aquaculture and alternative protein innovation. This will help to further anchor their key activities in Singapore, as well as to support the company’s plans to expand its manufacturing operations to Southeast Asia over the next two to three years.