FlyFeed says it has signed contracts worth more than $10 million and closed a $3 million investment round to launch its first insect farm in Vietnam, as part of its drive to produce protein low cost and nutrient rich for human consumption.
The company was founded less than a year ago and targets the three billion people facing food insecurity due to global climate and financial changes. The production process uses organic remains as food for the black soldier fly (BSF) insects, which significantly reduces the final price of the protein produced. As a bonus, it also helps reduce local food waste issues.
“Five billion dollars invested in agtech in 2021 shows that the fragile global food chain, dependent on exhaustible natural resources, faces new challenges and needs change. In this case, insect protein is an effective solution that can turn inedible resources into nutritious protein. Backed by laboratory tests and approved by local authorities, we will open 10 farms in Asia and Africa by 2026 and help solve the global food crisis,” says Arseniy Olkhovskiy, CEO and Founder of FlyFeed, in an interview with TechCrunch. “There are a lot of things wrong with the world, but the fact that world hunger still exists is the most absurd. More than three billion people cannot afford healthy food and nearly one billion live in food insecurity. What’s worse is that this number continues to increase. Until we redesign our food chain, this will not change because conservative agriculture is not designed to feed a growing population.
In the first instance, insects will be used for animal feed and pet food, with future plans to include processing insects into flour that can be used for human food in about five years. The plan is for the first farm in Vietnam to produce more than 17.5 thousand tons of insect products per year, including insect fat, protein meal and fertilizer, and process more than 40 thousand tons. organic leftovers for BSF food, collected and processed free of charge by a partnership with local authorities.
The $3 million angel funding will be used to establish operations, further develop technology solutions and build Vietnam’s first industrial-scale farm in 2023, producing affordable proteins, oils and fertilizers from insects.
“With the personal money invested and this funding round, we were able to build an infrastructure that unlocks our scale. Our production technology has been developed by our specialists and world-class engineering teams, we have secured resources in Vietnam for construction and operations, we have signed over $10 million in pre-contracts to verify demand and validate our product development strategy, and we’ve built an A-class team and advisory board to support the business,” says Olkhovskiy. “FlyFeed’s goal is to feed 250 million people each year, providing nutritious and healthy food to those who cannot access it or cannot afford it. This means an additional 250 million people can live healthier, happier lives and focus on what matters to them. And all this by helping nature instead of harming it and by supplying other food producing companies with sustainable nutrients and fertilizers.