Singapore-based agriculture technology startup, Nutrition Technologies, raised a series A funding round in July 2019. The round was led by venture capital (VC) firm, Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, the Singapore government entity which helps local companies to build capabilities, innovate and internationalize.
The funds raised in the Series A round will be used to set up the largest high-tech commercial-scale insect protein production facility in Southeast Asia, which can produce over 18,000 tons of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilizers annually. Part of the funding will also go towards black soldier fly genetics and research.
Established in 2014, Nutrition Technologies has a presence in Singapore, Malaysia, United Kingdom and Vietnam and it produces protein from the black soldier fly for use as feed for fish, shrimps, chickens, pigs, reptiles, and birds. Black soldier flies can be grown and harvested in a number of climates, they eat most organic matter, they are generally a non-pest species, and their larvae can be up to 42% crude protein and 29% fat (dry matter).
In Vietnam, the company has a partnership with the Research Institute for Biotechnology & the Environment (RIBE), and built its first R&D site. It also secured grant funding from the UK and Australian governments. The funds will be used to set up a commercial-scale insect protein facility which can produce over 18,000 tons of insect-based feed ingredients and organic fertilizers every year. The company opened its first commercial production site in March 2018, in Johor, Malaysia, selling directly to poultry, aqua and pig farms in the domestic market.
Moving forward, SEEDS Capital and Enterprise Singapore will continue to work with Nutrition Technologies to connect with industry partners in aquaculture and alternative protein innovation. This will help to further anchor the company’s key activities in Singapore, as well as to support its plans to expand its manufacturing operations to Southeast Asia over the next 2 to 3 years.
In January 2019 SEEDS Capital appointed seven co-investment partners to catalyze over SGD 90 million worth of investments to develop Singapore-based agri-food tech startups. This round of investment is the first since then.
(Sources: Business Times; Tech in Asia; Nutrition Technologies)