Asia's first industrial insect company, Nutrition Technologies, closes US$20 million equity round
Yesterday, Nutrition Technologies announced that it has completed an equity venture round of US$20 million. 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.
"Commercial insect protein production is one of the most important innovations of the past few years, with the potential to disrupt the animal feed and fertilizer sectors and solve multiple issues the world is currently facing," said Dr Buranin Rattanasombat, Senior Executive Vice President, Innovation and New Ventures, PTT Public Company Limited. "Furthermore, we expect this partnership will provide customers with innovative solutions to revolutionise the agriculture sector as well as improve people's quality of life."
"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," added Tom Berry, Co-CEO & Co-founder, 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 US$343 million in 2021, and expected to grow with a CAGR of 26.49% to reach US$1.3 billion by 2027. As a sustainable solution to help minimize multiple unsustainable practices, the sector as a whole has seen investments totalling nearly US$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 ton 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," stated Richard Hayler, CFO, Nutrition Technologies. "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."
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