Venture Capital: Better Origin, Maker Of Modular, AI-Powered Insect Farms, Raises $16M

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Better Origin’s mini insect farms take food waste as an input to generate black soldier fly larvae for use as feed for far animals.

Better Origin works on the premise that insects serve as carbon-negative animal feed because they need far less water and land compared to traditional feeds like soy. By cultivating them onsite, a farm can save as much as 574 tonnes of CO₂e a year. What’s more, the insects are packed with protein and other nutrients that are good for the animals and also boost farm productivity. Better Origin announced a Series A raise of $16 million led by Balderton Capital and included participation of existing investors Fly Ventures and Metavallon VC (AFN-AgFunderNews)

Better Origin

The startup creates its modular, AI-powered mini insect farms (dubbed X1) inside shipping containers that can be placed, ready-to-use, on an animal farm, typically egg and poultry farms.

Inside the X1, organic waste from local supermarkets and food outlets is processed into feedstock for growing black soldier larvae.

An AI program monitors the process using cameras and sensors and adjusts growing conditions for optimum production of larvae.

These activities are handled by Better Origin, while the farmer only needs to put in the waste and take out the insects for feeding to his animals.

The farmer has to pay a monthly service fee to Better Origin, however.

Environment friendly

Better Origin’s process does not need any of the inputs required for soy cultivation; on the other hand it produces the same amount of animal feed as 1,500 sq meters of soy cultivation. This reduces pressure on precious land resources.

The use of food waste is also an environmentally friendly action, while by locating the X1 onsite, carbon emissions on trucking alternate feed to the farm are saved.

CSO and founder Miha Pipan said: “The food chain is fundamentally broken and it’s putting the future of our food security at risk. We’ve built a solution that aims to finally fix these flaws from the inside out. Insect larvae are nature’s mechanism to convert waste back into essential nutrients in the food chain. They act as the missing link between waste and food. We reduce waste and increase food production by bringing back this link. Our solution is the future of food production and the latest round of funding takes us a step closer to this future.”

Related Story: Ynsect, Which Farms Insects, Snags $372M

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