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More funding and layoffs: Ynsect ropes in €160M; slashes 70 jobs, shuts Dutch facility

Image credits: Ynsect

Ynsect, a Paris-based startup specialised in insect production, has raised €160 million in a Series D funding round from a combination of historical and new investors, making it the best-funded insect startup in Europe.

The company works similar to Estonia’s FlyFeed, which is an international insect farming startup that produces insect protein, fat, and fertilisers from black soldier flies for animal feed and pet food and, in the future, for human food.

The plan

The French company has recently announced its transition to a B2B2C business model at an industrial scale. With this shift, the company is focusing on two strategic pillars to drive growth and profitability: 

The first strategic pillar involves serving existing contracts worth approximately $175M and negotiating with customers for contracts worth around $1B. 

To achieve this, Ÿnsect is focusing on its Ÿnfarm in Amiens, which received its first insects in late 2022 to begin the production cycles. 

At full capacity, Ÿnfarm is projected to deliver up to 120,000 tons of insect-based (food) ingredients, solidifying Ÿnsect’s leadership position in the industry.

The second strategic pillar is focused on developing high-value products such as human food, pet food, bird food, and plant care while expanding globally through joint ventures and licensing agreements with leading local partners. 

By focusing on high-value markets, Ÿnsect aims to reach faster profitability in a world where energy and agricultural raw material costs, as well as equity and debt costs, have all increased significantly. 


Besides funding, Ÿnsect has reportedly laid off 70 people as part of its new strategy to prioritise internationalisation, profitability, and sustainability. 

This move is a result of the company’s plan to focus on high-value-added activities and partnership strategies. 

This means that the company will maintain recruitment in its development areas, particularly in Amiens, France.

Further, Ÿnsect planning to close its production facilities in the Netherlands, resulting in 35 job cuts, and 38 jobs will also be cut at its Paris headquarters. 

The company will also alter its focus away from producing insects for animal feed, which is a low-margin product, and instead, it will put increased focus on insects for human consumption, pet food, and plant food.

The company currently has two farms in France and one in the US, in addition to the closing Dutch farm.

“This is a particularly difficult decision, but one that is necessary for the future of the company. We are aware of our responsibilities towards the Ÿnsect employees affected by this reorganisation in the Netherlands and France. This is why we are doing everything we can to support the employees affected, by opening the positions available to all,” says the company. 

Insect farming is a growing industry, with companies like Ÿnsect pioneering sustainable and innovative solutions for food production. With this new strategy, Ÿnsect aims to focus on areas that will help the company achieve profitability and overcome local challenges related to food sovereignty and sustainability.

Insect protein & natural insect fertilisers

Antoine Hubert co-founded Ynsect in 2011 with a mission to become a leader in the production of insect protein and natural insect fertilisers.

The company processes insects into high-end, high-value ingredients to feed the entire food chain: plants, fish, farmed animals, pets, and humans. 

From its purpose-built state-of-the-art farms, Ÿnsect offers a long-term, sustainable, organic solution to accelerate protein and plant consumption. 

Ÿnsect uses disruptive technology protected by more than 350 patents, to raise its Buffalo and Molitor mealworms in highly-automated vertical farms, creating value chains fully aligned with the Paris COP21 Agreement +1.5°C scenario and with the EU Fit for 55 targets. 

In 2016, Ÿnsect demonstrated its industrial production capacity with the opening of the Dole’s pilot site, which foreshadowed Ÿnfarm, the world’s largest and most technologically advanced vertical farm.

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