DONGEN, Netherlands, June 13, 2017 /CNW/ - Today, the insect supply industry reached a significant milestone with Netherlands-based Protix, closing 45M€ in funding - delivered by Aqua-Spark, Rabobank, BOM and various private investors.
Protix breeds insects for animal feed, as insects offer a low-impact protein alternative that can be cultivated on a variety of food scraps. This is important as global populations continue to grow and the demand for meat, fish and dairy surges. Food production is increasingly under pressure, with added challenges of deforestation and overfishing.
Protix has turned insect production into a commercial success by serving the animal feed industry, while also developing food applications for consumers. Their products are used in over 12 countries to date - in feed applications ranging from pig and poultry to pet food specialties.
The driver behind Aqua-Spark's interest is Protix promising uses for aquaculture. Fish raised using sustainable aquaculture methods offer a solution to the global food crisis because they have the least environmental impact of any animal protein. Protix has the potential to further elevate aquaculture, while solving feed challenges across multiple industries.
The Potential for Insects
Protix was founded in 2009 by two former McKinsey & Company colleagues, Kees Aarts and Tarique Arsiwalla. "Due to increasing demand from our loyal and valuable customers, we're ready to scale. With 45M€ in funding, we plan to expand Protix's production capacity, especially within the aquaculture industry. Protix will also deepen its R&D and diversify to other markets like food. We are very excited to serve our existing and new customers and we will be seeking great M&A opportunities, work with great organizations and hire the best people," said Protix CEO Kees Aarts.
Mike Velings and Amy Novogratz, founders of Aqua-Spark have a clear reason for investing. "We've been researching the insect industry for many years, and Protix stands out because of its potential to be pivotal in the development of a sustainable aqua-feed solution. We're selective about the companies we invest in; and Protix fits well with Aqua-Spark's portfolio and aligns with our mission and values."
Rabobank has been involved with Protix from its start, and continues to support the insect company today as the core bank in its latest round of funding. The bank was introduced to Protix through the Dutch Green Tech Fund (currently Shift Invest).
Note to the Editor
Protix previously initiated the leading industry association IPIFF (the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed) and recently joined forces with Bühler, the leading solution provider for the food and feed industry, to accelerate the standardization and roll-out of insect rearing and processing equipment globally.
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