Loopworm, a biotech startup has raised $3.4 million in its seed funding round from Omnivore and WaterBridge Ventures.
Other investors include Titan Capital, and angel investors including Nadir Godrej (Godrej Agrovet), Sanjiv Rangrass (ex-ITC), and Akshay Singhal (Log9 Materials), also participated in this round.
The startup plans to use the funds for talent acquisition, research and development, and launch its first factory to scale up production.
The Bangalore-based Loopworm was founded in 2019 by Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, It is working with smallholder farmers to build decentralized pest rearing facilities. It provides insect-based products for agriculture, poultry, and more.
“We are thrilled to have Omnivore, Waterbridge, Titan Capital, and several experienced angels, including Nadir Godrej, as investors in Loopworm. We plan to use the new funding to set up our first Loop Factory in North Bangalore, hire talent, and accelerate R&D,” said Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, co-founders, Loopworm.
The biotech startup aims to produce 300,000 metric tons of sustainable insect-based protein per year over the next five years.
“We are excited to see Ankit and Abhi solving for sustainable and scalable food resources which are traceable and hence easier for mainstream adoption. Loopworm, sitting at the cusp of climate-tech and food-tech, has the potential to continue moving up the value chain as its product suite evolves and emerges as a truly scaled player,” said Ashish Jain, partner, WaterBridge Ventures.
“Omnivore is delighted to back Loopworm under our OmniX Bio initiative, which seeks to blaze a path forward for agrifood life sciences in India. Loopworm sees massive potential in transforming cultivated insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients, and Omnivore believes the company will quickly become one of India’s leading biotech startups,” said Mark Kahn, managing partner, Omnivore.
Loopworm is an Agri-Biotechnology company that takes inspiration from nature, to convert organic wastes into valuable products promoting health, nourishment & wellbeing for all forms of life.
Through novel Bioscience, Chemistry & Technology, they are utilising Insects to produce novel Bio-based products. Insects are natural detritivores and a key part of the Ecosystem often ignored for their usefulness and considered pest & nuisance. They are a rich source of proteins, fats, and micronutrients, and an essential part of the natural diets of both land & aquatic fauna. They are an excellent source of high-quality Amino Acids, Fatty Acids, Peptides & Bio-molecules like Melanin & Chitin, having varied applications in Cosmetics, Nutraceuticals & Biopharmaceutical industries.
Loopworm is currently focused on producing alternative sustainable protein & fats for Shrimp Feeds, Poultry Feeds & Pet Foods. Highly digestible Amino Acids & insect-like natural smell in the protein concentrate lead to superior palatability in insect-based Aquaculture Feeds. Insect oil is a highly sustainable alternative to conventional feed oil sources like Palm Oil, Fish Oil,& Krill Oil. Inclusion of insect products in Poultry feeds leads to better Egg & Meat quality, higher productivity, better immunity, and enhanced welfare for commercially farmed birds. Hypoallergenic properties & natural bio-availability of anti-microbial supplements, cartilage & bone growth promoters lead to superior health for Dogs & Cats.
The United Nations & the FAO consider ‘Insects – The Future of Food & Feed’, but with the visionary use of modern science & engineering, Insects can truly help us bring a new dimension to novel biotechnology & bio-pharmaceutical applications.