Protenga raises $2m to scale its insect farming technology

The company’s flagship products include Hermet Protein, Hermet Oil, and Hermet Frass.

Protenga’s production is based on the Black Soldier Fly (BSF): it uses a scalable, insect-based bioconversion process that recaptures nutrients from organic side-streams via its proprietary ‘Smart Insect Farm’ systems. 

Protenga team © Protenga

With its previous $2m seed round in 2020, it built and launched three sites: a breeding facility, a production farm, and a manufacturing plant producing double-digit tonnage every month, while using “less than one third”​ the capital compared to the industry.

Debt financing

Leo Wein, CEO, Protenga, spoke to FeedNavigator yesterday about the company’s growth strategy and how accessing debt financing represents a paradigm shift for the producer.

The company’s ambition is to be a vertical integrator, to scale insect farming, to decentralize it, and to make that happen, a move to alternative financing structures, beyond venture capital, is required, he said.

“In 2020, we raised our first institutional round, a pure equity round, with venture capital. We are still going to raise venture capital and bring straight equity into the company but that will be focused more on technology and on commercial aspects – on the R&D and product development – rather than on building the facilities. And that is what we are really excited about in relation to this step.

“Debt financing is a cheaper and more scalable way of financing. It shows confidence in our business model. Debt finances profits and equity finances losses. Debt investors are comfortable that we will generate profit from the facilities.”

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