9/1/2018 – Hargol Foodtech, a startup based in Israel has today received a US$600K seed funding round from Singapore-based venture capital firm Sirius Venture Capital and Netherlands-based SLJ Investment.
The startup plans to use the latest funding to increase its production capacity in an effort to solidify its position as an international provider of alternative protein.
Founded in 2014, Hargol Foodtech pioneered sustainable grasshopper farming for consumable protein. The startup breeds grasshopper at an industrial scale, using vertical farming which employs specialized innovative cage infrastructure in climate-controlled facilities.
Following this investment deal, the Founder and Managing Director of Sirius VC Wong Hin Sun Eugene will join the Hargol’s board of directors.
According to Sustainable Brands, with the increase in African population and Asia’s new found wealth, the global demand for protein has been estimated to increase by 80 percent by 2050.
For this, Hargol said it is well-positioned to cater to the growing alternative protein market with its grasshopper supply that is bred under highly-sanitised conditions throughout the year.
“By investing in a venture that offers pioneering solutions to circumvent the foreseeable shortage in animal protein, we are generating new market opportunities while advocating new dietary habits,” said Eugene Wong.
Insect protein has various advantages over other methods of protein production. When compared to livestock farming for protein which accounts for almost one-fifth of unnatural greenhouse gas emissions, this form of alternative protein pose has high food conversion conversion rates, low water footprint, zero waste, and minimal greenhouse gas emissions.
Besides, it has a less distinctive smell and flavor, which is more palatable than algae protein. Insect protein also requires less processing, and is thus more economical to produce and made into powder form, protein bars, and other snacks.
Commenting on the deal, the CEO of Hargol Dror Tamir said, “with the investment from Sirius at such an early stage, along with the ongoing support from its management, Hargol is able to realize its vision of becoming the world’s first commercial grasshopper farm in Northern Israel in a short period of time.”
“Beyond its investment, Sirius extended to us with strategic consulting and access to its wide network of business partners, regulators, and investors,” he added.
Sirius Venture Capital mainly invest in food and beverages companies, that are involved in the areas of food production, supply chain, and consumption.
Aside from Hargol Foodtech, the startup’s portfolio also include Bangkok’s food delivery business Lalamove and United States-based food tech company Chapul that promotes edible insects as a sustainable source of protein.