FarmInsect raises oversubscribed €8m Series A to commercially scale its insect farming technology

End-to-end, modularized solution for decentralized production of insects as sustainable feed


Founders of FarmInsect (from left to right) Thomas Kuehn and Wolfgang Westermeier in their insect farm, holding a box with larvae of the Black Soldier Fly.

German insect technology company FarmInsect announces the close of an oversubscribed €8m Series A funding round. The round was led by Sandwater, a climate-tech venture capital firm based in Oslo, alongside Bayern Kapital’s Growth fund, the Minderoo Foundation’s Strategic Impact Fund, and the European Innovation Council Fund. Existing investors HTGF and UnternehmerTUM Funding for Innovators also participated. 

A prominent source of the agriculture sector’s CO2 emissions lies in the production and worldwide transport of protein-rich animal feed, including soy and fishmeal. The cultivation of soybeans, often utilized in livestock and pet food diets, necessitates extensive land clearing, frequently through deforestation. Likewise, the production of fishmeal involves energy-intensive processing and further strains wild fishstocks. 

Small insects – big effects

Founded in 2020, FarmInsect offers a more sustainable alternative protein source for animal feed —namely black soldier fly larvae. In contrast to most insect farming companies today who are building mega-factories, FarmInsect wants to decentralize production to better utilize stranded energy and onsite feedstocks and put this opportunity directly in the hands of farmers. 

FarmInsect has developed an end-to-end solution, enabling customers to construct modular insect farms onsite at their own facilities. FarmInsect sends customers weekly shipments of seed larvae which are fattened onsite with regional waste materials, such as peels or harvest residues – in a week, the larvae will grow over 250x their body weight. This circular system produces high-quality, protein-rich feed produced directly on the farm more cheaply, with lower CO2 emissions and independently of global supply chains. 

FarmInsect’s fattening system also produces compost as a by-product, which can be sold as high-quality fertiliser or used for biogas production. Overall, FarmInsect allows farmers to reach feed cost savings of up to 30%. Each step in the process is monitored by a proprietary software platform that guides the customer through production step by step. 

Fresh capital to scale commercial footprint and continue R&D work

FarmInsect will use the new financing to support the commercial scale-up of its insect farming solution and to fund further R&D work to continue to improve its technology. 

Thomas Kuehn, Founder and CEO of FarmInsect, welcomes the additional financing and outside validation of the company’s potential. “We are very grateful for the trust that our investors have placed in us. Together we will pursue our ambitious goal to make insects the go-to protein source ahead of soy and fishmeal in the EU. In this next stage, we plan to intensify our R&D activities in order to decisively expand and further improve the current breeding lines.”

"We’ve recognized the commercial and environmental potential of insects for a long time. But we struggle with the existing business model, which involves substantial capital investment and has proven difficult to scale. We were missing a commercially available, low capex solution capable of driving meaningful volumes, and FarmInsect offers just that. We strongly believe in the founders’ ability to scale FarmInsect and accelerate the transition away from CO2 intensive protein sources", Morten E. Iversen, Partner at Sandwater.

"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", Monika Steger, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital.

"We were impressed by FarmInsect’s founders as well as its low capex, decentralised business model which has the ability to ramp up significant insect production in a sustainable way, providing the ability to deliver a scalable alternative source of protein to fishmeal. This aligns with Minderoo’s goal to protect and restore ocean ecosystems, including by reducing pressure on wild caught fisheries", Cronje Wolvaardt, Director of Impact Investing at Minderoo Foundation.

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