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Image credit: Ÿnsect

Brief: Ÿnsect raises $175m, cuts 20% of workforce as part of profitability strategy

April 17, 2023

Why it matters:

Until now, Ÿnsect has focused largely on raising mealworms to produce ingredients for animal feed. Insect-based feed is considered by many to be a more sustainable way to feed animals than fishmeal, which relies on wild-caught species.

However, animal feed is a low-margin business, and in a bid to accelerate profitability, Ÿnsect says it will devote more resources to the higher-value pet food ingredients category.

Ÿnsect co-founder Antoine Hubert told Bloomberg, “Animal feed is a good market, but it takes more time to make a positive financial and economic impact.”

He cited the limited availability of capital and costs for energy and raw materials as a few reasons for the shift in strategy.

The new strategy includes closing down production at its Netherlands facility, which came as part of the Protifarm acquisition in 2021. Ÿnsect said it would turn this facility into a research center, which in turn means the company will cut about 35 jobs as a result. Another 38 jobs will be cut at the company’s Paris facility.

The company said it is pursuing a more asset-light business model with smaller facilities and partnerships designed to split costs. That said, there are plans to hire about 40 new people outside of Europe in the near future.

Ÿnsect will continue to operate its farms in France, and the US, with plans for Mexico and possibly Asia.

It competes most closely with InnovaFeed, which announced its own expansion plans into pet foods last year via a partnership with ADM.

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