London-based Entocycle has just raised €4.6 million for its tech solutions advancing the future of insect proteins for a more sustainable world. The startup, which has backing from world-class athletes, now plans to expand the roll-out of its products, from insect breeding solutions to full insect farm builds.
Sustainably and nutritiously feeding our rapidly-growing population amidst growing food supply shortages is a growing challenge. It’s become clear that our current diets and approaches to food supply can’t be sustained for the long term and we need to urgently rethink.
With this growing awareness, the humble insect has been seen as a valid alternative – and the insect market is flying. Replacing traditional protein sources with insect protein could be the key to reducing environmental issues, including deforestation linked to soy, overfishing and pollution related to agricultural waste disposal into our rivers and seas as well as improving food security.
It’s a fairly new agri market, but it’s growing fast and UK-based Entocyle is making its presence known. The startup, which aims to facilitate the development of insect proteins has just secured new funding to roll out its solutions – and some world-class athletes are in on the action.
- €4.6 million raised in a Series A investment
- The funding was led by Climentum Capital
- It includes backing from Lowercarbon Capital, Teampact Ventures, ACE & Company and prominent athletes such as Antoine Dupont (World Rugby player of the year in 2021), Nikola Karabatic (World’s best handball player and Olympic champion with France in 2008, 2012 and 2021), James Haskell (former England rugby international) and Antoine Brizard (Volleyball Olympic Champion with France in 2021).
Keiran Whitaker, founder: “We’re powering this fast-growing industry globally and helping build a more sustainable and secure future for food and feed. We’ve got the technology and the scientific know-how to unlock the production efficiencies to enable the insect market to really take flight. We’re proud to have our investors with us on this journey, and they share our vision for a more sustainable food system that will allow the restoration of nature and the fragile ecosystems we all depend on.”
Founded in 2016, Entocycle was launched with a vision of accelerating a global shift to using insects as a sustainable protein source. Entocycle’s ‘full farm’ design and build service enables large-scale food producers and waste management companies to convert organic waste into high-value insect proteins, fats and fertilisers.
Yoann Berno, General Partner at Climentum Capital: “We finally have a solution to decentralize and localize production, solve the global feed shortage and accelerate the transition towards low-carbon alternative proteins, all at once. We’re proud to lead this round, as there’s no better insect breeding technology on the market. Entocycle has developed a full stack of breeding solutions for small farmers and full-scale waste managers, which would take years and millions of dollars to replicate.”
The startup’s flagship product, the Entosight™ Neo, is a software and hardware package based upon an optical sensor that monitors and collects data on the health and productivity of a black soldier fly colony. The Entosight™ Neo reduces the need for manual human processes such as weighing larvae, multi-step handling and inaccurate counting to result in higher-feed conversion rates, lower mortality and larger insects on farms. The company has also developed a turn-key modular fly cage, a highly efficient breeding system and offers a full BSF farm design, commission and build service to new entrants to the insect industry, with growing interest from large-scale food producers looking to secure protein-supply or waste management companies looking to upcycle organic waste into higher-value products such as protein or lipids.
The funding reflects a new era of protein development – one that could have lasting benefits for the environment. According to a recent study by WWF, the UK could replace 20% of its soy imports with insect protein by 2050.
Now, with this new funding, the company will roll out a suite of products and services to serve established insect companies and new entrants into the insect industry globally. Entocycle will also expand the team from its current headcount of 21 as it seeks to commercialise operations and make its products and services more accessible to the market.