Leiden-based Agritech Startup In Ovo secures €40M in loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB). This funding will propel the expansion of Ella®, a fast and accurate technology to determine the sex of hatching eggs at an early stage.
By implementing this groundbreaking technology, hatcheries can exclusively hatch female chicks and decrease the use of valuable resources. This makes culling day-old male chicks unnecessary and improves overall sustainability.
Globally, an estimated 6.5 billion male chicks are culled each year in the production of laying hens. The Ella® technology from In Ovo paves the way for an egg supply chain with an enhanced animal welfare and reduced environmental footprint.
Wouter Bruins, founder of In Ovo, comments: “We are super excited and humbled to be receiving this prestigious and fantastic support from the EIB. It will permit us to further develop our technology pipeline and become a worldwide player, positively impacting animals throughout the food production channel.”
EIB Vice-President Kris Peeters said, “In Ovo’s technology represents a significant leap forward in terms of animal welfare and sustainability within the poultry sector, aligning seamlessly with the overarching priorities of EIB. We have consistently supported critical innovations stemming from the Netherlands in recent years, and we intend to persist in doing so, particularly in the case of environmentally significant technologies.”
Commissioner for the Health and Food Safety, Stella Kyriakides, said: “Ensuring that Europe’s animal welfare standards are amongst the highest in the world is a priority for us. With this technology, we will be avoiding the systematic killing of millions of male chicks throughout the European Union. This is a major step in our work to strengthen animal welfare standards in our Union.”
About In Ovo
In Ovo, a Dutch AgriTech scale-up based in Leiden, is focused on developing cutting-edge solutions to enhance animal welfare and sustainability within the poultry sector.
Following nearly a decade of development, In Ovo’s Ella® machine achieved a major milestone in 2020 by producing the first “Girls-only” chicks.
In addition to Ella®, the scale up has a range of other innovations in the pipeline aimed at further amplifying its impact. In Ovo received a series B funding in 2022.