Ynsect raises 160 million euros and restructures – Le Journal des Entreprises

In Poulainville near Amiens (Somme), the first colonies of Ynsect are now well established. And the rate of production of Molitor beetle-based food will accelerate. Behind the scenes, Ynsect, the industrial start-up producing insect-based ingredients, is continuing its structuring. In 2021, the company, which currently has 360 employees, achieved 17.8 million euros in turnover but suffered a loss of 36 million euros. To find the path to profitability, it announces “a fundraising of 160 million euros during a first stage of series D with historical investors and new entrants”, of which it did not reveal the identify. A second round plans to close this stage at the end of the year. Headquartered in Evry (91), the company had already raised 435 million euros since its creation in 2011, by calling on around twenty investors, including Demeter, Emertec, Bpifrance and Upfront Ventures.

Job cuts

While waiting for a new funding round, the nugget of French AgroTech headed by Antoine Hubert must restructure to achieve profitability more quickly. To do this, it is reconfiguring its Ermelo site in the Netherlands, acquired in 2021 from Protifarm. The production of insects is stopped there, the site is intended to become the R & D center of the group. Thirty positions are therefore eliminated. In France, the rationalization obligation involves the implementation of a voluntary departure plan covering 38 positions, mainly in support functions.

At the same time, Ynsect continues its industrial structuring. In Poulainville near Amiens, Ynfarm, billed as the largest vertical insect factory in Europe, has now gone into production. “It has already exceeded its production target by 25% since its start at the end of 2022. About forty profiles are still being sought to complete the team”, details a spokesperson. With a capacity of 100,000 tonnes of ingredients per year, the site should eventually produce 200,000 tonnes thanks to an upcoming extension, the date of which has not yet been set.

One billion dollars of orders in negotiation

To achieve profitability as quickly as possible, it is now a matter of honoring the $175 million contract signed for the next three years. And the ramp-up could be quick, given the billion-dollar orders currently in negotiation.

To achieve this, Ynsect announces “to refocus on markets with higher added value such as human nutrition, that of pets and plants”. Animal nutrition for farms (chicken, pork, fish), a relatively high-volume market, is thus put in the background.

To deploy its strategy and its activity in the world, in addition to its site in Amiens, Ynsect will obviously rely on its historical site in Dole (Jura), Ermelo (Netherlands) and Omaha (Nebraska, USA),- acquired from Jord Producers, one of the largest US mealworm producers in 2021 – but also on JVs and licensing deals with leading local partners. A process already tested with industrial partners in the United States (Ardent Mills) and Mexico (Corporativo Kosmos) to study the possibility of building farms locally.

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