The Toulouse-based company Micronutris, which specializes in breeding insects for food, today announced a record fundraising of € 100 million, notably subscribed by BPI France. This money will be used to build edible insect production factories, the first of which will be located in the Ardennes.
This will certainly be the most important fundraiser for a Toulouse company in 2021. Micronutris, one of the most advanced companies in the breeding and processing of insects into proteins sector in Europe, has just completed a round of funding. 100 million euros from BPI France, Mirova, (Natixis Investment Managers) as well as the Aveyron group Nutergia (food supplements), Crédit Agricole Nord-Est and business angel Bertrand Jelensperger. Several savings banks have also been added to the fund, including that of Midi-Pyrénées as well as the CIC.
Cricket, flour green, black soldier fly …
The operation will finance the construction of two factories, the first of which will be installed in Rethel in the Ardennes by the end of 2022. It will be the first industrial unit before the construction of a second larger site, including the location has not yet been disclosed. Agronutris, which has invested heavily in R&D and agro-industry, has now reached the industrial stage. Agronutris is the only company in France to have systemically reared three species: the cricket, the mealworm and the black soldier fly. It is also the only company to have obtained authorization to market insects for human consumption. The first productions of the industrial site will focus on the breeding and processing of the black soldier fly, intended for the aquaculture and pet food markets.
Nine factories by 2029
The establishment of the plant in the Ardennes is mainly motivated by the presence of numerous deposits of agro-industrial inputs, by-products and co-products, which are used to feed the insects reared in the plant. In addition, the residues resulting from the production are transformed into organic fertilizers, which will in turn feed the crops of the region. The first two industrial sites will have a conversion capacity of 280,000 tonnes by bio-residues from the agricultural agro-industry and will allow the creation of 200 in the Grand-Est region and at the research center located in Occitanie. The objective is to have nine production sites by 2029 with a cumulative annual conversion capacity of 1.5 million tonnes of bio-residues, to assert itself as one of the world’s leading players in sustainable nutrition.