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         Vietnamese insect-based aquafeed firm raises 1m, plans 10,000t plant

         Entobel builds commercial-scale insect protein factory in Vietnam



Vietnamese insect-based aquafeed firm raises 1m, plans 10,000t plant


By Neil Ramsden, Undercurrent News

March 7, 2019


Vietnam-based alternative aquafeed firm Entobel has raised 1 million in funding, and is planning a new plant to expand its operations in the near future, Belgian co-founder Gaetan Crielaard told Undercurrent News.


The firm -- which produces a 60% protein ingredient from insect larvae, which it calls "H-Meal" -- is currently completing the setup of it commercial plant in Vietnam, with an expected capacity of 1,000 metric tons per year.


However, Crielaard and fellow co-founder Alexandre de Caters have raised 1 million in funding, from strategic Vietnamese investors and "business angels" from Western Europe -- mainly Belgium -- and are now planning a wider reach.


Now the firm plans to build a 10,000t H-Meal plant in Vietnam, beginning construction next year, and is also planning expansion wider within Southeast Asia and Latin America, it said.


"The biotech company is globally well positioned to become a major stakeholder in the insect protein industry, thanks to its low [capital expenditure] and [operating expenditure] model," it said. "A research center will also be established to improve insect rearing and processing technologies. To achieve this ambitious goal, Entobel continues looking for strategic partners and investors."


The first commercial batches from the existing plant will be available by mid-2019, and full capacity will be reached by the end of the year, said Crielaard.


After winning the 2017 Aquaculture Innovation Challenge in Ho Chi Minh City, the firm said it was seeking 9m in funding, and a Vietnamese partner. He told Undercurrent the firm had revised its funding targets...





Entobel builds commercial-scale insect protein factory in Vietnam


By Jane Byrne, Feed Navigator



Entobel, a biotech company specialized in insect-derived feed protein, with production activities based in Vietnam since 2013, has raised 1m (US$1.13m) in funding, and its first commercial production plant is just about to go live.


Strategic local investors, as well as Western European investors, took part in this round, said the Belgian co-founders of Entobel, Alexandre de Caters and Gaetan Crielaard.


The backers were attracted by the potential of Entobel to produce large volumes of insect protein, branded as H-Meal, at a competitive price with other standard protein sources, said the co-founders. Those investors prefer to remain anonymous though, they added.


Entobel has raised US$1.8m in funding altogether, Crielaard told FeedNavigator.


The insect feed producer is in the process of completing the setup of its commercial factory in Vietnam, which is set to have capacity of 1,000 metric tons (Mt) H-Meal/year. The semi-automated factory will be ISO22000 and GMP certified, and the next few months will see the first commercial batches becoming available. Entobel said it expects the plant to reach full capacity by year end.


Benefits of operating out of Vietnam ​...


Expansion ...