Entocycle grabs $5 million for its insect breeding technology • TechCrunch
Even if insects don’t sound appealing to you, black soldier flies could play an essential role in the food chain in the coming years. In particular, these flies’ larvae can become an important source of proteins for livestock and fish.
That’s why Entocycle is raising another $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Climentum Capital, a European climate-focused VC firm. Lowercarbon Capital and ACE & Company are participating in the round as well.
Teampact Ventures is also investing in Entocycle. This new French VC firm is partnering with current and former athletes to invest in tech companies. In addition to contributing money, those sports professionals help startups with team-building advice and mentorship. In that case, Antoine Dupont, Nikola Karabatic, James Haskell and Antoine Brizard are investing in Entocycle.
While Entocycle has been around since 2016, the team of 21 people will now try and commercialize its products. In particular, with this new injection of cash, Entocycle plans to iterate on its flagship product — the Entocycle Neo.
It’s a hardware module that can be used in insect farms to monitor and collect data on the health and productivity of black soldier flies. The Entocycle Neo uses optical sensors combined with a software solution that analyzes images and accurately measures production.
By automating these processes, Entocycle hopes it can increase productivity in insect farms. Using the company’s modules should lead to higher-feed conversion rates and lower mortality.
Similarly, Entocycle has developed a fly cage with built-in climate control. The idea is that Entocycle can help companies in the food industries get started with black soldier fly larvae so that they can secure their supply of proteins.
And this is key to understanding the appeal behind Entocycle. Switching to insect-based proteins could drive down soybean production and imports, as well as deforestation — indirectly. Larvae are a low-carbon alternative as they can be produced anywhere. Insect farms could also integrate into the waste management cycle as black solider flies gobble down food waste.