Ontario, Canada-based Entomo Farms, a startup that produces cricket protein products, announced this week that it has raised $3.7M CAD (~$2.89M USD). The funding round was lead by undisclosed investors from Canada and Asia. This new capital follows and undisclosed Series A funding round lead by Maple Leaf Foods in 2018.
This new funding will be used to support the operational growth and expansion of Entomo Farms, and be put towards marketing efforts to increase brand awareness amongst consumers. Currently, the company operates in 60,000 square feet of production space, and produces cricket products through its own brand and for other food companies globally.
Entomo Farms offers a few different food products made from the crickets that it raises, including baking flour, whole roasted crickets, and protein powder. Additionally, the company supplies crickets to other companies for use in pet food, fertilizer, and snacks.
Crickets, although not yet as appealing to the Western taste bud, offer a high protein and sustainable alternative to meat from animals. Compared to chicken, fish, or pork, crickets actually have a higher protein content, and nearly just as much as beef. It takes much less land, water, and feed than land mammals to raise crickets, which makes this critter a more sustainable protein option.
Entomo Farms is not the only company trying to convince people to eat bugs for protein; Israel-based Hargol raised $3 million for its cricket protein powder last year. The Aspire Food Group farms crickets and palm weevil larvae and produces cricket-based bars through its brand Exo.
Although crickets are not currently a key component of the Western diet, funding for companies like Entomo Farms will help bring consumer awareness to the benefits of eating crickets for protein. With a ballooning global population of nearly eight billion hungry for protein, crickets may offer a solution to satisfying this vast and ever growing requirement.