London-based Entocycle has raised $5 million in a Series A round that will see the company further invest in solutions that up the productivity and efficiency of black solider fly farms. Since early 2017 the company has raised $21.5 million and is playing a vital role in decreasing deforestation, overfishing, and food waste, all the while helping to improve food and feed security.
Climentum Capital led Entocycle’s $ 5 million Series A round with Lowercarbon Capital, Teampact Ventures, ACE & Company participating alongside a host of world-class athletes including 2021’s World Rugby player of the year Antoine Dupont, 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).
Right. Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of it, shall we? Or rather, not.
Since the late 20th century, Hermetia illucens, better known as the black soldier fly has seen ever-increasing interest, namely through its ability to recycle organic food waste, as well as provide a viable food supply (and fertiliser for said supply) for animals, pets and yes, even humans, as when dried, the larvae of said creatures can contain up to 50 percent protein.
Additionally, the BSF has been shown to not be a pest to human, as unlike their housefly cousins, “adult black soldier flies have greatly-reduced sponging mouthparts and can only consume liquids such as flower nectar or do not eat at all. They do not regurgitate food along with digestive enzymes like houseflies, thus do not spread diseases.”
If you haven’t been paying attention, one perusal through the Tech.eu archives will reveal a steadily increasing number of insect-based, alternative-to-traditional-methods of food-sourcing stories over the past five years, and while the thought of eating bugs might not be so tasty, the advantages they bring through the reduction of deforestation, overfishing, and needless food waste are undeniable. And quite frankly, season something enough, and can you really tell me it doesn’t taste like chicken?
Where Entocycle fits into the picture is by helping ramp up the production of these protein-filled-will-keep-you-alive flying friends through a flagship product, the Entosight Neo. Offered up as a software and hardware package that uses an optical sensor to monitor and collect data on the health and productivity of a black soldier fly colony.
Beyond removing the need for manual human processes such as weighing larvae, and multi-step handling, Neo also all but eliminates human errors including inaccurate counting, ultimately resulting in higher-feed conversion rates, lower mortality, and larger insects on farms. Don’t forget, these are harmless to humans insect.
Beyond the Neo, Entocycle is also producing 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.
Simply put, if you’ve got the time, the space, and the inclination, Entocycle promises to get your protein-producing plant up and running in no time flat and at a highly efficient rate.
Given that according to industry estimates, the BSF market will be pulling down some $3.96 billion by 2033, getting in while the gettin’s good might not be the worst business decision of all time. And helping to save the planet at the same time? Climentum and Co.’s investment is making more and more sense by the minute.
“We’re powering this fast-growing industry globally and helping build a more sustainable and secure future for food and feed,” commented Entocycle founder Keiran Whitaker. “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.”