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Bulgarian Scale-Up Nasekomo Raises €8M Series A To Fuel Robotized Insect Bioconversion Expansion

Three people posing on a plain background
Image credit: Marc Bolard, Olga Marcenac, Xavier Marcenac (left to right), Nasekomo
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Only have 1 minute, here are 3 key takeaways: 

  • Bulgarian-based biotech scale-up Nasekomo raised €8M Series A in a round, led by private equity fund Invenio Partners and joined by high-net-worth individuals.
  • The company will use the growth capital to support its transition to a data-driven franchising business model. 
  • The first franchised factory will be located in Bulgaria in partnership with a local entrepreneur and it will start operations in 2025.

 

Nasekomo, the European scale-up dedicated to advancing the industrialization of insect farming for high-quality protein production. managed to secure €8 million Series A. The investment is led by Invenio Partners, a private equity fund focusing on the SEE region, alongside several high-net-worth individuals.

Nasekomo, which operates in France and Bulgaria, plans to use the funding for further expansion and launching insect bioconversion facilities in Europe. The first franchised factory is set to start operations in 2025 in Bulgaria in partnership with a local entrepreneur. It will serve as Nasekomo’s second facility, as the company already operates one on the outskirts of Bulgaria’s capital Sofia. 

Established in 2017 by serial entrepreneurs Xavier and Olga Marcenac and biologist Marc Bolard, Nasekomo identified that one of the biggest challenges is the need for more protein to feed the increasing number of fish and animals farmed for consumption, while the availability of agricultural land is declining. The team turned to insects as a solution to lower the carbon footprint, resource use, and nutritional value of animal feed.

The company aims to address global protein demand, enhance food access, and tackle sustainability challenges in feed production. Nasekomo promotes circular economy practices through its sustainable alternative of insect protein, envisioning a positive impact on the agricultural landscape with proprietary robotized, AI-assisted technologies.

At the end of 2023 during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 Nasekomo announced a strategic partnership with Siemens Bulgaria, part of the global digital leader Siemens AG, to bolster Nasekomo’s development process. 

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“We firmly believe that our collaborative efforts will lead to the successful realization of our ambitious vision – to accelerate the growth of the insect industry by providing the picks and shovels to newcomers which in our case means genetically selected seed larvae and our end-to-end bioconversion factory technology”, shared co-founder Xavier Marcenac.

Before its Series A, Nasekomo secured a grant worth €2.5M under Bulgaria’s National Recovery and Resilience plan, funded by the EU to implement the R&D phase of its expansion project.  

In July 2023, Nasekomo opened its Insect Center of Excellence (NICE) and marked the first full production cycle at the facility – from insect genetic improvement to end-product manufacturing, resulting in the delivery of the initial batch of protein meals for pet food.

By 2030, the company aims to operate 100 bioconversion factories in its network, each capable of processing up to 100,000 tons of biowaste into valuable insect protein, oil, and organic soil fertilizer.

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https://therecursive.com/author/teodoraatanasova/

Teodora Atanasova is a News Editor at The Recursive. She covers everything around funding rounds, exits, startups expanding to international markets, big tech opening R&D in CEE, meaningful for the ecosystem partnerships.