Even if insects don’t sound enticing to you, black soldier flies could play an essential role in the food chain for years to come. The larvae of these flies in particular can become an important source of protein for livestock and fish.
That’s why Entocycle is raising an additional $5 million in a Series A funding round led by Climentum Capital, a European climate-focused VC firm. Lowercarbon Capital and ACE & Company also participate in the round.
Teampact Ventures is also investing in Entocycle. This new French VC firm partners with current and former athletes to invest in technology companies. These sports professionals not only help with money but also with team building advice and mentoring. In this case Antoine Dupont, Nikola Karabatic, James Haskell and Antoine Brizard invest in Entocycle.
Entocycle may have been around since 2016, but the team of 21 will now try to commercialize their products. Specifically, with this new cash injection, Entocycle plans to repeat its flagship product – the Entocycle Neo.
It is a hardware module that can be used in insect farms to monitor and collect data on black soldier fly health and productivity. The Entocycle Neo uses optical sensors in combination with a software solution that analyzes images and accurately measures production.
By automating these processes, Entocycle hopes to increase productivity in insect farms. Using the company’s modules should result in 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 food industry companies get started with black soldier fly larvae to ensure their protein supply.
And this is the key to understanding Entocycle’s appeal. Switching to insect-based proteins could – indirectly – reduce soybean production and imports, as well as deforestation. Larvae are a low-carbon alternative because they can be produced anywhere. Insect farms could also integrate into the waste management cycle as black soldier flies gobble up food waste.