Innovafeed, a startup that sustainably produces black soldier flies (Hermetia Illucens) for animal, aquaculture and plant nutrition, has raised €250 million in its latest funding round. The series-D round was led by Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) and also includes existing investors Creadev and Temasek. This latest round brought in new strategic and financial investors: global agribusiness leaders ADM and Cargill – both of which have strategic partnerships with Innovafeed – as well as Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward.
This new round of financing brings Innovafeed's total cumulative financing to €450 million.
"The confidence demonstrated in us by our partners through a new round of fundraising confirms the insect industry is a key solution for our planet’s food production needs. Their support will allow us to accelerate our deployment in service of an ever healthier, natural and sustainable food system," said Clément Ray, co-founder and CEO of Innovafeed.
Innovafeed has already secured commercial partnerships for volumes representing more than €1 billion over the next 10 years.
Innovafeed will use the capital to:
- Continue to increase production capacity in France through the further expansion of its Nesle site in the north of France, the world’s largest vertical insect farm
- Accelerate its international expansion, notably in the United States with the construction of a new production plant in Decatur, IL, in collaboration with ADM; and prepare global roll-out of Innovafeed's technology, including development in Asia
- Continue to invest in breakthrough technology and R&D for the formulation of high-precision and high-performance ingredients for animals, plants and, in the future, for human food
New Chief Operating Officer and US general manager appointments
The Company also announced that Yves Amsellem has joined Innovafeed as Chief Operating Officer. With more than 30 years of experience in end-to-end supply chains for international food and beverage and industrial groups, including Danone and Chromology, Amsellem brings outstanding insights and proven capabilities to Innovafeed’s expansion plans.
In addition, the Company has appointed Maye Walraven, a French-American national, as Innovafeed's general manager for North America, a newly created role. She previously served as Innovafeed’s vice president of business development.
Unique partnerships for the international deployment of Innovafeed's technology
The participation of world-class agribusiness leaders ADM and Cargill, both customers and suppliers of Innovafeed’s feedstock inputs, underscores the role of Innovafeed’s unique and cutting-edge technology and the insect industry’s ability to transform the food system into more natural and sustainable one.
"Our expansion in the United States is a critical step for our scale-up. It will enable us to access a deep source of feedstock and significantly increase our production capacity. I am very excited to be working closely with our local industrial partners, who are key contributors to accelerate the development of the entire industry and are supporting our momentum by their investment," added Walraven.
An ambition: to go beyond the “impact-native” industry
Innovafeed also announced today the creation of an Impact Committee to place sustainable development and social impact at the heart of its business model and thus reinforce the global positive impact of the industry.
This committee will be responsible for defining and supporting Innovafeed's ESG strategy over the next three years and will be chaired by Dr Darian McBain, who is recognised for her more than 20 years of sustainability work and was formerly the global director of corporate affairs and sustainability for the seafood conglomerate Thai Union.
"I am proud to take on the role of President of Innovafeed's Impact Committee, an emerging company whose values and commitment to finding sustainable solutions to global food challenges I share. I believe that the insect industry will have a key role in building sustainable food systems and reducing our impact on climate change. I hope to contribute my sustainability expertise to enhance Innovafeed's sustainability and ESG commitments and performance," commented Dr McBain.