InnovaFeed, leader in the production of insect protein for aquaculture, has secured EUR15 million (US$17 million) through funding with AlterEquity3P, Finovam Gestion, Nord Création (Group IRD), Nord France Amorçage (advised by Siparex) and several entrepreneurs.

After the launch of its first industrial production site in mid-2017 – the largest in Europe – this new financing round will enable InnovaFeed to deploy a second production unit 10 times larger, accelerate product commercialization and contribute to the growth of a sustainable food industry.

With a growing global deficit in high-quality proteins, protein production will be one of the key issues of the upcoming decades. The situation is particularly precarious in Europe, where 80 percent of crop protein is imported (mostly soybean meal). Insects, thanks to their ability to convert low-value biomass into high-quality animal proteins and reintroduce them in the food chain, is emerging as an excellent solution to address this nutritional challenge.

Aware of these challenges, InnovaFeed has confirmed in the past years the potential of Hermitia Illucens, an insect with exceptional nutritional qualities, to produce protein for animal feed, more specifically for aquaculture. By offering a natural, healthy new ingredient for fish feed, InnovaFeed wishes to contribute to the rise of a sustainable aquaculture and to the preservation of oceanic resources.

Current wild fish stocks will not be sufficient to meet the growing needs of aquaculture. After several years of research at its Génopole R&D facility, the company has launched its industrial production in 2017. Its process combines state-of-the-art zootechnical research with a performant industrial model. InnovaFeed’s insects are fed with byproducts from the agro-industry, enabling a short loop valorization of resources which are widely available and with few outlets. Through this virtuous cycle, InnovaFeed creates value that benefits the local economies around its production sites.

First factory

Its first factory, located in the Hauts-de-France region is the largest insect production facility in Europe with a capacity of 1,000 tons per year.

This factory is only the first step of InnovaFeed’s industrial deployment to address the colossal needs of the aquaculture industry. With EUR15 million secured, InnovaFeed can pursue its ambition: set up the next production unit with a capacity 10 times superior to the current one.