Singapore's insect startup raises $1.6 million to ramp up production
Tuesday, July 21, 2020
Insect technology startup, Protenga, has closed its latest round of seed investment raising $1.6 million from UK agritech company Roslin Technologies and the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, SEEDS Capital. The raise means Protenga becomes Roslin Technologies' flagship insect technology investment globally and the two companies will work together to identify new, high-efficiency genetic strains of the black soldier fly for the livestock, aquaculture and pet food markets.
The Singaporean company is now ramping up production of its insect-based products, conducting cutting-edge genetic research and taking its decentralized Smart Insect Farm model, which transforms agricultural and food waste into valuable products, to waste owners around Asia.
In partnership with Roslin Technologies, Protenga is embarking on research to identify genetic insect strains that will further improve bioconversion performance in its Smart Insect Farm systems. The work will be carried out at Roslin Technologies’ soon-to-be-completed bespoke genetic nucleus facility near Edinburgh, Scotland. To support these activities, Protenga is defying the gloom of the COVID-19 economy and hiring across a number of biology, engineering, operations and R&D roles.
“Production and bioconversion opportunities using the black soldier fly are enormous,” said Leo Wein, CEO of Protenga. “Working with Roslin Technologies provides the perfect opportunity to expand Protenga’s capabilities and scale up across our key markets. We’re also delighted to receive support and funding from SEEDS Capital — together, we plan to drive transformational change in the global food supply chain.”
Glen Illing, CEO of Roslin Technologies, said that “this investment is the start of our journey into the insect protein and nutrition market. Protenga has the right technologies, capabilities and culture to succeed in providing new sustainable production and waste bioconversion practices using black soldier fly. We are also excited about applying enhanced breeding technologies to develop improved insect lines with Protenga from a new genetic nucleus facility currently being built near Edinburgh. Protenga is at the cutting edge of sustainable protein production and is the next important building block in our portfolio of agritech ventures.”
As the world doubles down on sustainability efforts post-COVID, Protenga follows in the footsteps of Next Protein, Beta Hatch and Bulgarian startup Nasekomo, all of which raised investments in the past three months.
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