Singaporean manufacturing company Nutrition Technologies has announced that it has just opened an industrial-scale factory in Malaysia to produce sustainable insect protein for aqua/animal feed. The AgriTech company has also announced that it has secured $ 5 million, in a fundraising round led by Hera Capital, and participated by Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital.

This will be Nutrition Technologies’ first industrial-scale factory in Puteri, Johor, Malaysia. The company has been making use of black soldier flies (Hermetia illucens) to create a sustainable alternative to fishmeal. The company noticed the need for fishmeal, a common ingredient in animal feed, as demand for both livestock and seafood has increased. With the sudden increase of demand for livestock, Nutrition Technologies aims to remedy the problem of stagnant supply when it comes to animal feed resources.

“When fully operational, our new plant will produce 16,000 tonnes of insect products per year, [12,000t of insect frass, 3000t of insect meal and 1000t of insect oils]. This will divert 80,000 tonnes of waste per year from landfills and save tens of thousands of pelagic fish in the oceans, by providing a substitute for fishmeal,” said Nick Piggott, Co-Founder and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Nutrition Technologies.

The company’s latest factory in Malaysia was commissioned in December 2020, but its facilities are a result of over 5 years worth of R&D and technology development. The zero-waste facility will be making use of automated equipment to ensure its high-quality standards and strict biosafety measures.

Co-Founder and Co-CEO Tom Berry weighed in: “Nutrition Technologies is committed to delivering sustainable products that meet the strict requirements of the animal feed market, as well as being low cost and environmentally friendly.”

Nutrition Technologies held a fundraising round led by Hera Capital that secured $5 million for the company. The round was also participated by existing investors Openspace Ventures and SEEDS Capital. The company claims that it has raised a total of $14 million to date.

“We are very excited to partner up with Nutrition Technologies to support its growth. Commercial Insect production is one of the most important innovations of the last decade, with the potential to disrupt the animal feed sector and solve multiple issues the world is currently facing,” said Sebastien Guillaud, Managing Partner of Hera Capital.

Moving forward, the company plans to start its Series B fundraising this coming Q3 2021. Nutrition Technologies plans to use the fund to ramp up its production 10-fold, expand production in its latest Malaysia factory, and open up similar facilities in Thailand, Vietnam, and Indonesia. It also plans to open up an R&D center in Singapore, which will act as the company’s anchor in innovation and to connect with future investors and industry partners.

Nutrition Technologies also plans to continue leaving a positive environmental impact by upcycling more than 500,000 tonnes of waste yearly. Its expansion will also provide over 600 jobs in low-income areas across Southeast Asia.

As it expands, the company aims to become a global leader in the industry. Berry said, “Over the next 10 years we plan to build a large network of insect farms across the region, supplying a new high-quality insectmeal to support the growth of aquaculture and livestock production in Asia.”