4 May 2020
The Trendlines Group is pleased to announce that its fund, Trendlines Agrifood Fund has made its second investment, investing in Insectta, an early-stage Singaporean start-up focused on the extraction of valuable biomaterials from insects.
Founded in 2017, Insectta originally started as an insect farm focused on producing alternative proteins for animal feeds, but recently pivoted to the extraction of biomaterials from insects. Insectta produces high value, novel materials which can be applied across multiple industries such as agrifood, pharmaceutical and electronics. Insectta’s first innovative technology offers an efficient, sustainable and cost-effective means of producing chitosan that surpasses all existing technologies currently available.
Chitosan, first registered as an active ingredient in 1986, has physiochemical properties such as bioadhesive, biocompatible, and biodegradable, making it particularly suitable for applications related to biomedical engineering, food and biodegradable plastics. The market for chitosan is expected to grow dramatically as new applications are developed and mass-produced.
Chitosan is typically derived from crustaceans, but the current extraction process is highly unsustainable due to the amount of chemicals required for the process. Insectta’s technology allows extraction of chitosan from insects without the use of harsh chemicals, thus setting a new industry standard for purer, traceable, and high-quality chitosan. Using byproducts created by insect farms as the raw materials required for the extraction process, Insectta’s technology builds on the circular economy within the insect farming industry. Through a biorefinery process, Insectta can produce chitosan, protein and probiotics, products estimated to triple the larvae’s final product value.
Insectta brings a unique technology for producing high-value materials from the insect industry’s waste. Our investment represents the fund’s commitment to investing in technologies developed and implemented in Singapore; and addressing food and other issues in a sustainable way, using innovative knowledge and a team with proven capabilities. Insectta works in cooperation with research bodies in Singapore and has commercial relationships with various entities in East Asia. The Company will operate from our AFIC incubator offices in the new complex we have established. We expect the commercialization of the company’s first products at the end of its first year of operation.
Trendlines Agrifood Fund CEO Nitza Kardish, PhD
The Fund’s mission to improve food systems around the world aligns closely with Insectta’s. Trendlines’ focus on innovative, technology-driven solutions is exactly what we are looking for in a strategic partner. With their help, we aim to increase the value and diversify the products attained from food waste valorization,
Insectta Co-Founder Ms Chua Kai-Ning
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