French agritech startup Ÿnsect raises $125 million

Paris-based agritech startup Ÿnsect that produces insect-based animal food has landed a mega-round of $125 million led by Astanor Ventures, with participation from Bpifrance, Talis Capital, Idinvest Partners, Finasucre, and Compagnie du Bois Sauvage. This capital injection brings the total amount raised by the company to $175 million.

Founded in 2011, Ÿnsect is breeding insects to produce premium ingredients for fish feed, pet food, and organic plant fertilizers. At capacity, its largest farm is said to be able to produce some 20,000 tons of protein per year.

Of all insects that can be bred and transformed into animal food, Ÿnsect has chosen the larval form of Tenebrio Molitor, also known as mealworms. The company claims that it provides good nutrition to fish and crustaceans, such as shrimp, salmon, trout, and sea-bass.

“Ÿnsect is becoming the world’s largest insect producer, whatever the species, thanks to our unique highly scalable and pioneering technology,” says Antoine Hubert, Ÿnsect CEO and chairman. “Enabled by deep tech, the entire production process — from feeding to controlling the health and welfare of our insects, and from the sensors used for quality control to harvesting mature insects — is automated. We have 25 patents covering our technology, the products themselves and their different applications, giving Ÿnsect the world’s largest insect patent portfolio. But ultimately, we need scale to have a significant impact globally, which this investment will allow us to achieve.”

The company plans to use the fresh funding to fuel its expansion plans in North America.

In the photo: Antoine Hubert, Ÿnsect CEO and chairman

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