Iron Man actor Robert Downey Jr’s investment firm backs world’s biggest insect farm

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Agtech startup Ÿnsect extends its Series C to USD 372 million, bringing total financing to USD 425 million.

In a press release, insect farming startup Ÿnsect writes that it has extended its Series C funding to USD 372 million – the largest amount ever raised by a non-American agtech business.

The new capital will fund the completion of the largest insect farm in the world, due to open in the city of Amiens, north of Paris, France, in early 2022. Ÿnsect will produce 100,000 tonnes of insect products annually. The capital will also allow Ÿnsect to grow its product lines and expand into North America.

It will also let the company expand beyond Europe and Asia into the United States, with the support of its first U.S.-based investors, Upfront Ventures and movie star Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition.

Mealworms in the Ynsect workshop in Burgundy, France. PHOTO: Ynsect

Total financing of the start-up is now USD 425 million, more than the total amount raised by the entire insect protein sector globally.

To date, Ÿnsect said that it has USD 105 million worth of contracts signed to supply customers including salmon feed giant Skretting.

“Skretting is proud to be a part of Ÿnsect’s success and we are confident they will continue to be a pivotal player in the global food chain for years to come,” said Jenna Bowyer, Category Manager Novel Ingredients for Skretting.

“We have been working with Ÿnsect for the past five years, supporting their progress towards commercialisation through our continuous ingredient development activities while also committing to a long-term partnership,” added Bowyer.

“Our ambition is to revolutionize the food chain which, literally, starts from the basics: insects and soil. It concerns all of us, whether we are meat lovers or vegans because it is how our plants and animals are fed,” said Antoine Hubert, Ÿnsect’s co-founder, president, and CEO.