Entocycle raises £4m to track flies and make protein-rich grub

Entocycle Image credit: PixHound via Shutterstock

Entocycle, a company using data and tracking hardware to support the insect farming industry, has closed a $5m (£4m) Series A funding round.

Rearing insects for protein is less harmful to the environment than other forms of protein, such as livestock cattle. Entocycle is a self-described “insect tech” startup that has developed a product to track and optimise fly colonies.

Founded in London in 2016, the startup’s flagship product is the Entosight Neo, a software and hardware package that uses optical sensors to track the health and productivity of black soldier fly colonies. The company said its tech reduces the need for manual insect farming, allowing for a much greater yield of the flies’ larvae, which is converted into a source of protein.

Insects are seen as an eco-friendlier way to source proteins than cattle, fish, and soy, all of which come with environmental impacts. Entocycle has predicted the market for insect protein to reach $9.46bn by 2030.

“We’re powering this fast-growing industry globally and helping build a more sustainable and secure future for food and feed,” said Entocycle founder Keiran Whitaker.

“We’ve got the technology and the scientific know-how to unlock the production efficiencies to enable the insect market to really take flight.”

The Series A round was led by the European green VC, Climentum Capital and featured participation from Lowercarbon Capital, Teampact Ventures, and Ace & Company.

“We finally have a solution to decentralise and localise production, solve the global feed shortage and accelerate the transition towards low-carbon alternative proteins, all at once”, said Yoann Berno, general partner at Climentum Capital.

“We’re proud to lead this round, as there’s no better insect breeding technology on the market. Entocycle has developed a full stack of breeding solutions for small farmers and full-scale waste managers, which would take years and millions of dollars to replicate.”

Fellow insect tech startup Better Origin raised £12.2m back in April 2022 for its AI-powered insect mini-farms.