InnovaFeed raises $250m to expand edible insect platform, build plant in Decatur, IL

By Elaine Watson

- Last updated on GMT

InnovaFeed: 'Everything we do is geared towards making insect protein affordable...' Image credit: InnovaFeed
InnovaFeed: 'Everything we do is geared towards making insect protein affordable...' Image credit: InnovaFeed

Related tags Insects Edible insects InnovaFeed

InnovaFeed, a French company with global ambitions in the edible insect arena, has raised $250m in a series D round* backed by agri-food giants including ADM and Cargill, and says it will break ground on a large-scale production facility to farm black soldier flies in Decatur, Illinois later this year.

The new US site is co-located with an ADM corn processing facility. This will ensure that the feedstock (byproducts of wet corn milling), and resulting insect ingredients, are consistent, says the company, but will also save water and energy, as waste heat and steam from the ADM plant will help power the insect production site. 

Innovafeed – which says it has already secured commercial partnerships for volumes representing more than €1bn over the next 10 years - will also use the capital to expand its site in Nesle, France, move into additional markets, and invest in R&D to develop “high-performance ingredients for animals ​[protein-packed black soldier flies for poultry, pigs, aquaculture, and pets], plants ​[insect frass – droppings – are used in fertilizer] and, in the future, for human food.”

'We’re having conversations with big food providers now'

InnovaFeed has been in the feed market for several years, but has also been working to develop and test products for the human nutrition market and tracking consumer sentiment about edible insects, general manager, North America, Maye Walraven told FoodNavigator-USA in an interview earlier this year.

We do really believe there will be room for insect protein​​ [for the human nutrition market]. It might not be a big part of the market next year, likely more in the 5-10 year horizon, but we want to be ready, so we’re having conversations with big food providers now."​​

Echoing recent comments by US-based Aspire Food Group​​​ that if edible insects are going to carve out a meaningful space in the human food market, costs must come down and supplies of consistent, high-quality ingredients must go up, Walraven added: "When we first looked at producing insect protein, we asked two questions: What is the nutritional profile, and how scalable would the production be? Based on that, black soldier flies came out on top. ​​Everything we do is geared towards making insect protein affordable."​​

The production capacity of the first phase of the Decatur site will be similar to the French site, with the potential to produce up to 60kT of protein per year, said the firm.

Read more HERE​.

*The series D round – which brings Innovafeed's cumulative financing to $450m - was led by Qatar Investment Authority and supported by Creadev, Temasek, ADM and Cargill (which have strategic partnerships with Innovafeed), Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward

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