FarmInsect has set itself the goal of making insect farming more sustainable. The startup enables farmers to produce high-protein feed from regional residues with the help of insect larvae. With the seven-digit round of financing, led by High-Tech Gründerfonds and Bayern Kapital, FarmInsect wants to set up a production site for the production of young animals and put further fattening systems into operation at farmers. The round is also supported by 5x Ventures, Genea Invest, the initiative for industrial innovators and well-known business angels. The round was initiated by BayStartUP.
FarmInsect relies on regional residues from agriculture and the food industry to fatten larvae of the black soldier fly. The insect larvae serve as animal feed and replace soy and fishmeal with a sustainable and regional alternative. The FarmInsect fattening systems open up additional value creation potential for farmers while at the same time promoting regional recycling management, higher resource efficiency and significant CO2 Saving.
The startup was founded by the graduates of the Technical University of Munich (TUM) Thomas Kuehn, Wolfgang Westermeier and Andre Klöckner with the vision of making agriculture more sustainable. The team combines entrepreneurial experience with in-depth knowledge in the fields of biology, agricultural engineering, automation and mechatronics.
"We see ourselves as partners for farmers in order to be able to produce regional and very sustainable protein feed for pigs, chickens and fish," explains Thomas Kuehn, Founder and CEO of FarmInsect. “Our goal is to replace fishmeal and soy with insect larvae by 100 %.”
For this purpose, FarmInsect has developed an automated fattening system that is operated by farmers on their farms. The farmer acts like a fattening farm to fatten the young larvae provided by the company on an ongoing basis. This approach significantly reduces the complexity of the process for the farmer.
Financing round enables transition to growth phase
FarmInsect has been developing the process since 2019 in the TUM Venture Lab and at a pilot site at a fish farm. The first series systems will be delivered to farmers this year, and many other interested parties are to be served in 2022. In order to ensure that the facilities are supplied with young animals, part of the investment will be used to create a new, ultra-modern production site in the Munich area.
"We see a promising business model with enormous scaling potential in the combination of regional residual products and insects," explains dr Maximilian Bock, Investment Manager at High-Tech Gründerfonds. "FarmInsect can already act economically compared to the competition and make a significant contribution to combating resource scarcity and climate change."
dr George Ried, Managing Director of Bayern Kapital, says: “Insect feed has the potential to become a key building block for sustainable, future-oriented agriculture. FarmInsect has developed an important, innovative key technology that is very attractive for farms throughout Germany and beyond. This makes FarmInsect an extremely exciting investment in the AgriTech sector for us.”