Company to identify new, high-efficiency genetic strains of the Black
Protenga has closed its latest round of seed investment, raising US$1.6m withUK agritech company Roslin Technologies and the investment arm of EnterpriseSingapore, SEEDS Capital.
The raise means Protenga becomes Roslin Technologies’ flagship insecttechnology investment globally, and the two companies will work together toidentify new, high-efficiency genetic strains of the Black Soldier Fly for thelivestock, aquaculture and pet food markets.
As the world doubles down on sustainability efforts post-COVID, Protengafollows in the footsteps of Next Protein, Nasekomo and Goterra, all of whichraised investment in the past three months.
For the environment, the potential of turning insects into feedstock is vast.Our world faces a 60-billion-tonne protein food shortage by 2030, and aroundone-third of all food is wasted. Currently, livestock, aquaculture and petsare mainly fed with unsustainable fishmeal and cash crops like corn and soy.Insects offer a natural alternative that requires less land, water and foodcompared to other feed ingredients. Protenga’s unique zero waste approach alsosolves the problem of insect frass by transforming larvae excrements intohigh-quality bio-fertilizer.
Protenga is now ramping up production of its insect-based products, conductingcutting-edge genetic research, and taking its decentralized Smart InsectFarm model, which transforms agricultural and food waste into valuableproducts, to waste owners around Asia.
In partnership with Roslin Technologies, a world leader in animal genetics &agri-sciences, Protenga is embarking on research to identify genetic insectstrains that will further improve bioconversion performance in its SmartInsect Farm systems. The work will be carried out at Roslin Technologies’soon-to-be-completed bespoke genetic nucleus facility near Edinburgh,Scotland.
To support these activities, Protenga is defying the gloom of the COVID-19economy and hiring across a number of biology, engineering, operations and R&Droles.
“Production and bioconversion opportunities using the Black Soldier Fly areenormous,” announced Leo Wein, CEO of Protenga. “Working with RoslinTechnologies provides the perfect opportunity to expand Protenga’scapabilities and scale up across our key markets. We’re also delighted toreceive support and funding from SEEDS Capital — together, we plan to drivetransformational change in the global food supply chain.”
Glen Illing, CEO of Roslin Technologies, said: “This investment is the startof our journey into the insect protein and nutrition market. Protenga has theright technologies, capabilities and culture to succeed in providing newsustainable production and waste bioconversion practices using Black SoldierFly. We are also excited about applying enhanced breeding technologies todevelop improved insect lines with Protenga from a new genetic nucleusfacility currently being built near Edinburgh. Protenga is at the cutting edgeof sustainable protein production and is the next important building block inour portfolio of agritech ventures.”
Geoffrey Yeo, General Manager of Seeds Capital commented “Protenga’sproprietary solutions in black soldier fly production and waste bioconversionenables the company to have a differentiated and scalable business model inthe insect protein space, and addresses the growing gap in the demand andsupply of animal feed. The investment in Protenga builds on our existing focusin agrifood technologies and further develops the alternative proteinecosystem in Singapore. We are delighted to be supporting Protenga as theycontinue to grow and expand their operations.”
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