Insect protein firm FlyingSpArk to go public at NIS 120 million valuation

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The Israeli startup produces protein powder from fruit fly larvae and hopes to raise NIS 20 million for the construction of its first production facility in Thailand, the research and development center in Israel

Golan Hazani 11:5002/15/21

The world’s first insect by-product company will be listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange. Calcalist learned that FlyingSpArk, an alternative form of protein powder made from fruit fly larvae and founded by Eran Gronich, is planning an IPO on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange and plans to raise NIS 20 million ($ 6.2 million) ) for a business valuation of NIS 100 to 120 million (US $ 30 to 37 million). The funds will be used to set up a production facility in Thailand. The Israeli investment bank’s value base is the underwriter of the IPO, which is expected to take place in the coming weeks.

FlyingSpArk was founded by Gronich, who has acted as CEO of the company since 2015 and in the first years worked under the Footech incubator TheKitchen, a company of the Strauss Group in Ashdod. The Strauss Group is one of the company’s strategic investors and owns 35% of its shares. Another strategic partner is Thai Union, one of the largest tuna and seafood producers in the world, who will also be a customer of FlyingSpArk’s products.

FlyingSpArk plans to make protein powder from fruit fly larvae. Photo: Shutterstock

According to the company, the world’s population on earth will be overcrowded by 2050 and there will be a need to double food sources, and especially those that contain protein. From the year 2025, the United Nations predicts a world food shortage of 60 million tons of protein per year. Since raising livestock for food is harmful to the environment as it consumes large amounts of water and soil, contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and produces excess waste, various companies are trying to develop alternative solutions.

According to estimates by global research organizations, the protein components market is valued at 41 billion US dollars, with the market for alternative protein sources reaching 18 billion US dollars by 2025.

The solution offered by PlaySpArk is to make protein powder from fruit fly larvae. According to the company, the benefits of this type of protein are plentiful: it’s very nutritious, environmentally friendly, and economically sustainable. It is a high protein material as well as iron, magnesium, amino acids and omega-7 and free of cholesterol.

The FlyingSpArk team is in their laboratory

The rearing of the larvae can be carried out efficiently within a short period of time in a dedicated facility, the volume of which can be multiplied by 250 times within a few days, without causing greenhouse gas emissions, taking up little space and using very little water. FlyingSpArk knows how to produce an amount of protein equivalent to that of a cow occupying one square meter per month, with any 1,000 square meter facility capable of producing an amount of protein equivalent to that of 1,000 cows per month except in a greener.

The company plans to set up its first protein production facility in Thailand and a research and development center in Israel. The company currently has no sales and plans to go public with a valuation of between NIS 100 million and NIS 120 million.