The French start-up Ynsect, which specializes in breeding insects for animal feed and fertilizers, has acquired the Dutch company Protifarm, for an unannounced amount, which allows it to enter the protein market. insects intended for human consumption.
Read also: Ynsect is teeming with ambitions with its beetle farm
In a growth phase after fundraising totaling 357 million euros (425 million USD) since its creation in 2016, Ynsect will thus eventually have a production capacity of 230,000 tonnes of ingredients. insect base per year, a statement released Tuesday said.
In 2020, the French foodtech ecosystem was dominated by two insect start-ups, Ynsect and Innovafeed, according to the latest report from the Digital Food Lab.
This sector represented 44% of all funds raised by French FoodTech from 2016 to 2020.
300 patents in total
Ynsect owns and operates a factory in Dole (Jura) which produces 1,000 tonnes of ingredients per year, and is currently building a second vertical farm near Amiens with an initial capacity of 100,000 tonnes which should open in early 2022. The Protifarm farm based in Ermelo in the Netherlands which employs 50 people, has a capacity of 1,000 tonnes per year, which can be increased to 20,000 tonnes per year.
With 37 patents provided by Protifarm, Ynsect will now hold 300 patents, and the experience of a pioneer installed for 40 years in the breeding of insects used in animal feed.
In addition to Protifarm's commercial network focused on Northern Europe, Ynsect also sees the arrival in its capital of the main investor of Protifarm, Marvesa Proteins & Fats BV, and is pleased with the proximity with the agronomic university of Wageningen which "
owns its own department dedicated to research on insects
With this acquisition, Ynsect will develop the breeding of the Buffalo beetle, from Protifarm, a cousin of its own Molitor beetle, whose nutritional properties are "
suitable for human consumption
In January, the European food safety agency, EFSA, ruled the human consumption of Molitor as safe.
Protifarm has also submitted a dossier to EFSA for the Buffalo, which "
could become the second species of beetle authorized for human consumption by the European Commission,
" the press release said.
Read also: The specialist in beetles for animal food Ÿnsect closes a record raise of 300 million
In the meantime, Ynsect is betting in particular on the commercial launch of its protein food supplement YnMeal (based on Molitor beetle) in the Netherlands, where “
the acceptance rate of insects in food is in fact higher than in the rest. from Europe, the United States and Canada