Fly meal firm raises further funding
FLY farmer and waste-to-nutrient pioneer AgriProtein has raised a further $105 million in funding, marking a new high in investor appetite for the insect protein sector.
The latest investment, together with additional local project finance for a series of its alternative feed plants in Africa, the Middle East and Asia, puts South African based AgriProtein on track to deliver its ambitious factory roll-out plans.
Jason Drew, AgriProtein co-founder and CEO, said: ‘This is a significant vote of confidence in a growth industry producing a sustainable protein for use in animal diets.
‘It reaffirms our position as the leading up-cycler of waste-to-protein and brings us the financial resources for further global expansion.’
The company is building a global business through its circular economy strategy: up-cycling organic waste to tackle food security and waste disposal challenges, while helping conserve wild fish stocks.
AgriProtein uses black soldier flies and their larvae to convert organic food waste into a high protein alternative to fishmeal suitable for fish, poultry, pigs and pet food.
Drew said: ‘We need to see waste differently – as a resource – particularly food waste. A growing population, scarce water and land resources, and declining natural fish stocks make this more critical than ever.’
AgriProtein has fly farm projects under development across the world to produce its flagship product, MagMeal.
The company has expanded its R&D capability, hiring new staff and building chemistry and genetics labs. It has also hired senior staff from engineering and waste management backgrounds to increase its project roll-out capacity.
The company is focusing initially on the aquafeed market, where demand is increasing year on year to satisfy growing consumer appetites for farmed fish.
Worth more than $114 billion in 2017, aquafeed is predicted to grow by a factor of 2.5 in just eight years to nearly $290 billion in 2026.
‘There is simply not enough marine material left in the oceans to meet fishmeal demand in aquafeed, let alone in feed for poultry, pigs and pets,’ said Drew. ‘Along with algae and bacteria, new, disruptive sources of protein like our own are needed to close the feed gap and, in the process, help repair the future of the planet.’
In January 2018 AgriProtein was named a Global Cleantech 100 company for the second year.
Above: Jason Drew