UK-based Beta Bugs Secures £1.72M in Funding. The funding round was led by The TRICAPITAL Syndicate LLP, with participation from SIS Ventures, Scottish Enterprise, Beeches Group, Climate.vc, together with existing shareholders in the business and InnovateUK.
This fresh fund is used to scale-up the production, sale and supply of its Black Soldier Fly eggs and larvae to the insect farming sector, as a sustainable alternative to current sources of protein for animal feed.
Based in Edinburgh, Beta Bugs has developed the UK’s first comprehensive selective breeding programme and egg production site for the Black Soldier Fly, which is farmed as an alternative protein source for use in aquaculture, pork, and poultry feed and can be reared on various waste streams, including agricultural and food waste.
Black Soldier Fly farming provides a green, circular, and regionally produced alternative to the environmentally damaging production of soy meal and fishmeal, one of the prime causes of deforestation, biodiversity loss, and overfishing.
With the global population forecast to reach 9.7bn by 2050¹, livestock farming will require an additional 539m hectares of habitat using current conventional methods – equating to an area 44x the size of Scotland² – to produce the necessary protein to feed this growing population.
Thomas Farrugia, CEO and Founder of Beta Bugs said “Beta Bugs has supplied its industry leading products to an increasing number of established and new entrant insect farmers in the UK and international markets. The company continues to develop its outstanding HiPer-Fly® breeding programme, which has demonstrated consistent increases in Black Soldier Fly genetic performance across multiple, economically valuable production traits. Completing this investment will allow us to expand production capacity, drive to profitability over the coming 18-24 months and further strengthen our market leadership position in the strategically important insect farming industry.”
Moray Martin, Managing Partner of The TRICAPITAL Syndicate said “Insect farming is increasingly seen as a sustainable alternative protein source that could help mitigate the predicted increase in protein demand over the coming decades. The significantly lower environmental impact of insect farming places the sector at the forefront of sustainable food source development. In that context we are delighted to be able to support the acceleration of Beta Bugs to commercial scale.”
About Beta Bugs
Beta Bugs Established in 2017 by CEO and Founder Thomas Farrugia, Beta Bugs is based in the Easter Bush Campus, Scotland – a centre of excellence for animal science and home to the Roslin Institute, renowned centre for animal genetics.
The business currently employs a team of 12 and will be looking to recruit another 4full-time commercial and technical staff over the coming months. As part of its growth plans, Beta Bugs has also appointed Chris Richards as Non-Executive Chair.
Chris is a recognised veteran of the international agribusiness industry with broad experience of building science-based businesses into successful enterprises.