“The insect industry is a key industry for our planet”, carried the co-founder of InnovaFeed Clément Ray with conviction. The latter, accompanied by his two collaborators, has just raised 250 million euros during a fairly exceptional Series D fundraising in view of the context. A breath of fresh air for French Tech, in a fairly original market, but at the very least carrying strong ambitions. After food supplies for animals, InnovaFeed wants to democratize insects on our plates. Update on this startup which has already signed the equivalent of one billion euros in contracts over ten years.
3 French nuggets in insect food
Animal nutrition is and will remain its main activity for a long time to come. InnovaFeed claims to be a specialist in insect breeding and transformation processes to replace traditional foods, which often pollute, intended for pigs and poultry in particular. But domestic animals are also targeted, as is aquaculture. A whole set of very buoyant markets, especially internationally. For plants, InnovaFeed produces a natural fertilizer based on insect droppings.
The future of insect-based food is French. InnovaFeed wants, in order to be able to offer products for human food, to capitalize on the black soldier fly protein. French Tech has two other nuggets that have also settled in the niche, namely Ynsect and Agronutris. Both have also found the appetite of investors. InnovaFeed is part of the French Tech 120 2022 selection.
The 250 million euros injected into the startup born in 2016 will allow it to continue its deployment and position itself directly on the American and Asian markets. In the United States, first of all, a production unit is envisaged.
It is thanks to these perspectives that investors QIA (the sovereign fund of Qatar), Creadev, Temasek, ADM, Cargill, Future French Champions, ABC Impact, IDIA Capital Investissement and Grow Forward have chosen to invest despite the macro-economic context. difficult economy for venture capital. Namely that ADM and Cargill are two American agrifood giants and will allow InnovaFeed to establish itself across the Atlantic.
10 year contracts
In France, the foodtech hosts its production unit in the Somme, where by 2024, it aims to reach “a production of 100,000 tonnes of ingredients, including 15,000 tonnes of protein”. Clément Ray added that they had already invested 50 million euros in these facilities. In all, InnovaFeed raised a total of 450 million euros. Its turnover target will be between 30 and 50 million euros this year.
The management of InnovaFeed obviously continues to quote “the preservation of resources and our environment” to carry the message of a transition to insect-based food. We do not know exactly when and how the company intends to offer its first products for humans, but it is certain that this is not a priority in the face of animal and plant nutrition. Mindsets still need to change. Meat substitute companies like Beyond Meat prove it: on the stock market, their price is very volatile in view of the blurring of future production volumes with mainstream adoption.
One thing is certain: the worldwide deployment of InnovaFeed and its activity in animal and plant nutrition could already enable it to achieve attractive income to strengthen its model and continue to invest with a view to embarking on products for humans. InnovaFeed has already signed for more than one billion euros in sales with supply constraints for the next ten years. Let’s keep an eye on this French nugget that never stops teeming.