Protenga, a sustainable food company, has raised $2 million from Singapore-based investors to develop and launch its insect-based pet food brand, YumGrubs trying to meet the increasing demands of several industries.
“The investment is a strong validation of the team’s hard work and our unique approach to make insect farming accessible and radically scalable,” said Leo Wein, founder and chief executive officer, Protenga.
The company will open its new smart insect production farms in Malaysia converting organic byproducts to high-quality protein from the black solider fly larvae (BSFL) and intends to become Southeast Asia’s biggest insect company.
“We have demonstrated our technology to farm insects and we are ready to scale to have a global impact,” Wein said. “Accessing debt financing starts our journey of bringing insect farming from being predominantly equity-financed to a broader set of financing options, such as infrastructure financing or conventional bank loans, and decouples the expansion of our physical production facilities from our equity-based growth investments in our technology and commercialization platform. We have also been extremely pleased with the very positive customer and market feedback on our pet food offerings, providing validation of our team’s intensive R&D work over the last year.”
Protenga’s new smart insect farms will supply fresh produce, which will be used in the company’s new pet food YumGrubs. The company’s insect farms and facilities will also provide co-manufacturing for other insect-based, white-label pet food companies.
The company’s new farms shall also be available as manufacturing place for other pet food companies using insect protein.
Since the investment in 2020, the company has opened three new production sites where it produces double-digit amounts of insect ingredients. In 2021, Protenga could even increase its production.