Company to Break Ground on Largest Mealworm Facility for Animal Feed in North America
CASHMERE, WASH.,May 21, 2020 – Beta Hatch, a company industrializing the production of insects as a sustainable protein for animal feed, today announced the close of their Series A1 funding. Co-led by Cavallo Ventures, Wilbur-Ellis’ venture capital arm, and early-stage venture firm Innova Memphis, the round also included investments from Klein Private Equity Investment and Brighton Jones Investment Partners.
Beta Hatch develops insect-rearing technology that converts organic waste directly into high-value proteins, oils and nutrients for poultry and aquaculture, enabling insects to cost-effectively meet the global scale of demand for plant and animal nutrients.
“Insects have the potential to be the world’s most sustainable protein,” said Virginia Emery, Founder and CEO, Beta Hatch. “This new funding allows us to break ground on the construction of our sustainable flagship facility, so that we can scale up production commercially to meet existing demand of thousands of tons, and to continue our technology development to further bring down costs and increase efficiencies.”
The new flagship facility in Cashmere, Wash., will be the largest mealworm production facility for animal feed in North America, with the capacity to produce a ton of insect protein per day. Scheduled to be operational in early 2021, the facility will be partially powered by waste heat from a neighboring data center to reduce electrical needs.
“A range of markets will benefit from access to a new source of healthy, sustainable alternative feed ingredients,” said Cavallo Ventures’ Managing Director Son Vo. “This financing supports an essential next step toward commercialization, which will enable Beta Hatch to meet these markets’ needs while offering an innovative way to produce feed for our food, starting with aquaculture.”
“Whether for aquaculture, poultry or even for use in the domestic pet marketplace, we clearly see the opportunity posed by Beta Hatch in addressing the need for more sustainable sources of feed protein,” said Dean Didato, Partner, Innova Memphis. “The Beta Hatch team has engineered several innovative solutions to increase insect growth and mechanical processing efficiencies that provide a competitive edge in the space. In addition, with consumer desires to know more about the origin of one’s food and its rearing, harvesting and processing, Innova fully believes that these trends will drive further market adoption of insect protein.”
Beyond the funding, Beta Hatch’s contributions to the scientific community continue to grow as the Company recently completed the first published assembly of the yellow mealworm genome. The genome will be published as part of an open source article in the Journal of Insects as Food and Feed in Summer 2020 and will serve as an important resource for the scientific community in furthering research on the mealworm and other commercially relevant insect species.
About Beta Hatch
Founded in 2015, Beta Hatch is pioneering the insect farming industry through an innovative fusion of engineering and entomology. With a combination of trade secret processes, patent-pending equipment, and superior genetic stock, Beta Hatch is developing the tools needed to grow insects on an industrial scale to disrupt plant and animal nutrition. www.betahatch.com
About the Wilbur-Ellis Companies
Founded in 1921, the Wilbur-Ellis companies are leading international marketers, distributors and manufacturers of agricultural products, animal nutrients and specialty chemicals and ingredients. By developing strong relationships, making strategic market investments and capitalizing on new opportunities, the Wilbur-Ellis companies have continued to grow the business with sales of over $3 billion. For more information, please visit www.wilburellis.com
Cavallo Ventures, Inc. is the venture capital arm of Wilbur-Ellis, investing in companies and technologies that align with its four business divisions – Agribusiness, Nachurs Alpine Solutions, Nutrition and Connell.
Innova is an early-stage venture capital firm, founded in 2007, that focuses on starting and funding high-growth companies in the Medical, Technology and AgTech fields that match both Innova’s expertise. Innova has invested in over 120 companies and has been recognized by both Crunchbase Forbes, and SSTI in their rankings of most active early stage investors. Innova provides the synergy of experienced management, market expertise and venture capital to accelerate the development of new products and services into thriving businesses. For additional information please visit www.innovamemphis.com