Roslin Technologies invests in insect farming firm Protenga

Investments align with focus on developing alternative protein sources to help overcome impending global food deficit.

July 23, 2020

3 Min Read
Protenga bsf.jpg
An adult black soldier fly, the larvae of which are used in Protenga’s process. Copyright: Protenga

Roslin Technologies, an agricultural technology venture builder in the U.K., announced its investment in Singapore-based Protenga, an innovative business that farms black soldier fly insects to produce animal feed and fertilizer.

As part of Roslin's program, a bespoke genetic nucleus facility is being built near its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland, that will focus on applying enhanced breeding technologies to develop improved insect lines with Protenga for the global market.

These investments align with Roslin's focus on developing alternative protein sources to help overcome the impending global food deficit and are central to Protenga’s mission to provide sustainable food sources to livestock, aquaculture and pets. Growing insects uses less water, space, energy and time than growing other food sources. Further, Protenga’s production line also generates organic material for fertilizer through a process similar to composting.

This initiative supports Roslin's strategy of building a unique ag tech venture portfolio to develop sustainable businesses and value chain solutions in protein production technology innovation and is backed by co-funding from SEEDS Capital, the investment arm of Enterprise Singapore, corroborating its ambition to support sustainable innovative businesses in new fast-growth markets.

Roslin chief executive officer Glen Illing said, “This investment is the start of our journey into the insect protein and nutrition market. Protenga has the right technologies, capabilities and culture to succeed in providing new sustainable production and waste bioconversion practices using black soldier flies. We are also excited about applying enhanced breeding technologies to develop improved insect lines from a new genetic nucleus facility to be built soon near Edinburgh. Protenga is at the cutting edge of sustainable protein production and is the next important building block in our portfolio of agri-tech ventures.”

Protenga CEO Leo Wein added, “We are very excited to partner with Roslin Technologies’ team to drive and scale up our insect production and bioconversion technologies together across our key markets. We are also delighted to receive the support and funding from SEEDS Capital in our pursuit of driving necessary change in the global food supply chain. Production and bioconversion opportunities using the black soldier fly platform are enormous, and working with Roslin Technologies provides the perfect opportunity to expand our capabilities.”

Geoffrey Yeo, general manager of SEEDS Capital, said, “Protenga’s proprietary solutions in black soldier fly production and waste bioconversion enables the company to have a differentiated and scalable business model in the insect protein space and addresses the growing gap in the demand and supply of animal feed. The investment in Protenga builds on our existing focus in agri-food technologies and further develops the alternative protein ecosystem in Singapore. We are delighted to be supporting Protenga as they continue to grow and expand their operations.”

Working closely with the adjacent Roslin Institute, Roslin Technologies specializes in transforming scientific outputs to underpin profitable, sustainable agribusinesses with a global reach. Launched in 2016 as one of the largest European agritech startups, Roslin Technologies is bolstering its key platforms and ventures in 2020 with a range of novel initiatives in protein production and animal health to address the global challenge of closing the food supply deficit.

Protenga’s mission is "Making Insects Work for You" by democratizing protein production through intensive insect farming systems that produce sustainable protein in balance with nature using the black soldier fly (Hermetia illucens).

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