Munich-based tech startup FarmInsect has netted €8 million in Series A funding. The round was led by Sandwater that invested in 1X Technologies alongside participation from Bayern Kapital, Minderoo Foundation and the EIC Fund.
FarmInsect plans to use its fresh capital to expand its sales activities and increase its production capacity to the maximum load at its current production facility for young larvae.
Protein-rich, insect-based animal feed
FarmInsect was founded in 2019 by serial entrepreneurs Wolfgang Westermeier and Thomas Kuehn with the goal of making agricultural animal feed production more sustainable. The German startup offers an automated solution for the local insect breeding at the farmer as animal feed for chickens, pork, and fish.
It replaces the importing of soy and fishmeal with an environmentally sound alternative. The approach centres on the young larvae of the black soldier fly, which the company breeds at its production site and which it delivers to agricultural operations on a weekly basis.
Farmers can fatten up the young larvae with regional side streams, such as peels or harvest residues, by using an automated fattening system that has been developed by FarmInsect.
This circular economy system produces high-quality protein feed that can be produced directly on the farm more cheaply, with lower CO2 emissions and independently of global supply chains.
Moreover, the fattening system also produces compost as a by-product, which can be used either to fertilise the farmer’s own field, in a biogas plant to replace corn or sold as high-quality fertiliser following special heat treatment.
Thomas Kuehn, Founder and CEO of FarmInsect, said: “We are very grateful for the trust that our investors have placed in us. Together we will pursue our ambitious goal to fully replace soy and fishmeal in the EU with our sustainable closed-loop model. In the next step, we plan to intensify our R&D activities in order to decisively expand the current breeding lines. A further goal is to open an additional production facility.”
Monika Steger, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital, commented: “One thing was clear to us even with our first stake around two years ago: Insect-based feed is a key part of the puzzle for sustainable and future-proof agriculture. FarmInsect’s experienced team developed the company in a very positive way, installed the first customer systems and opened a new production site. We are highly satisfied with the collaboration to date and see a lot of potential for the future.”