ISRAEL – Hargol FoodTech, an insect-based protein producer has raised US$3 million from its existing investors, Singaporean-based Sirius Venture Capital and Netherlands-based SLJ Investment Partners.
Edible insects are gaining momentum as a high-protein, low-cost alternative that is considered efficient to produce and requires minimal resources compared to other protein-rich foods.
Hargol FoodTech is one of the company’s that has embraced the challenge of providing a superior protein alternative based using its proven technology and optimized methods of growing grasshoppers quickly and under sanitary conditions.
Hargol FoodTech, which now ranks among the world leaders in commercial grasshopper farming, has developed an innovative farm system for high-quality and sustainable grasshopper protein production.
Through manipulating temperature, humidity, light, ventilation among other factors, Hargol claims to have shortened the incubation time for eggs from 40 weeks to 2-4 weeks, and increased the number of life cycles from one per year to 10.
The startup has also developed a processing technology used to manufacture its product lines, which include grasshopper protein powder, supplements and meat replacement products.
Hargol FoodTech further proved that its grasshoppers contain more than 70% protein, all essential amino acids, and high levels of omega-3 and omega-6.
“With incredible interest from the market in our new line of theological food products – Biblical Protein, we are excited by the opportunity to offer a combination of modern, healthy and sustainable innovative food products that are connected to humanity’s origin,” remarked Dror Tamir, CEO of Hargol.
The company said that it intends to use the funds raised in this round to expand its production capacity including a new production facility and launch the Biblical Protein products line.
Founder and Managing Director of Sirius, Eugene Wong, commented, “The world is looking to reinvent dietary habits to cope with double the demand for protein as the global population increases by 2050.
“To address this global concern, Hargol is on an insect-to-food mission to produce grasshoppers as an alternative protein source. This represents an immense untapped market at the intersection of this issue.
“This follow-on investment after funding in the pre-seed and seed rounds demonstrates Sirius’ confidence in Hargol.”
In 2017, the startup raised US$600,000 in a seed funding round from Sirius Venture Capital and SLJ Investment Partners.
The willingness of multiple capital investors to invest with emerging insect protein manufacturers has greatly contributed to the growth of the insect protein market which was estimated at US$143.6 million in 2019 and is projected to grow at a CAGR of 45.0% to reach US$1.336 billion by 2025, according to a Research and Markets report.