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Livin Farms investors bet $5.8 million on powdered fly larvae • londonbusinessblog.com

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In a world of food shortages caused by climate change, insect-based proteins are seen as an increasingly valuable potential alternative food service. Livin Farms has put insect larvae at the center of its own alternative protein game. The Vienna-based company produces Hive Pro, a modular system designed to automate the process of breeding and processing black soldier flies.

It’s been about four years since I met the company in Central Hong Kong. Back then, they showed me their mealworm Hive Explorer STEM kit, designed to teach kids about the farming process — and the beetle life cycle. The company sent me home with a jar of dried mealworms for good measure. Texture was fine but the whole would have benefited from more flavour.

Image Credits: Livin Farms

The Hive Pro is a much larger, more industrialized system that feeds the larvae with food waste, uses robotic arms to move the trays and help the inserts grow up and eventually turn them into powder. The rest of the trays are meanwhile used as fertilizer. The SOSV-backed startup is currently testing a 1,400 square meter farm in Austria.

This week, Livin’ Farms announced a $5.8 million increase, adding to its $3.8 million seed capital. The Series A was led by Peter Luerssen, who noted in a press release, “Livin Farms is on a mission to revolutionize the upcycling of organic waste through their modular and automated insect factories and they are poised to ​​to become a major player in this fast-growing industry.”

Image Credits: Livin Farms

Once you get past the initial prudishness of eating powdered fly larvae, it’s easy to see how investors are interested in such a technology that effectively turns food waste back into food, through a fairly natural process.

“With our patented technology and biological know-how, our customers turn significant losses on organic waste into very attractive additional income,” said founder and CEO Katharina Unger. “At the same time, our customers are making a huge contribution to restoring the broken food system and thereby saving the planet.” She adds to londonbusinessblog.com that the process will take about 11 days, after which the larvae will become “half a ton of biomass plus a half ton of fertilizer.”

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