Greek startup Better Origin raises $16 million in Series A for its AI insect mini farms
Greek AgriTech startup Better Origin based in UK, that uses artificial intelligence-powered insect farms to repair the broken food chain, has raised $16 million to help return the chain to its sustainable roots. The company is using what it calls “mini farms” that turn expiring fruit and veggies into tasty morsels that can be used as animal feed. The funding will be used to hire staff to fill engineering, biology, marketing and operations positions. In addition, the latest cash infusion will allow for further product and technology development to help grow the company. Better Origin currently specializes in poultry but plans to expand into new livestock areas.
This Series A round was led by Balderton Capital, the London-based venture capital firm with participation from existing investors Fly Ventures and Metavallon VC. The mission of the United Kingdom-based company is to transform how to feed the growing population safely, securely and sustainably by turning the global food supply chain into a local one.
“We make the food supply chain local, and we need a new ingredient to do that. Our belief is that using food waste, is this new ingredient. Food waste occurs everywhere; it is local and there are a lot of hidden nutrients in there. Our technology can take any sort of waste and convert that into food,” explained Fotis Fotiadis, CEO and co-founder of Better Origin . “We have built automated factories in shipping containers. You put food waste in one end and you feed that to insects. The insects grow and you feed those insects to animals. Because these systems are in shipping containers, they can be deployed in all sorts of parts of the supply chain.”
Better Origin said its AI-powered insect mini-farms were developed to take local food waste from grocery stores and convert it into high-quality, sustainable animal feed. By doing that, Better Origin said it eliminates the need to ship animal feed internationally and help fix the lack of sustainability and security in global food supply chains. These insect farms are intended to create the conditions found in nature where food is eaten by insects and turned into essential nutrients for other animals to grow. The company currently has five mini-farms up and running, but is planning to grow rapidly over the next year.
“I’m hoping that if one thing goes according to plan we should have 20 ordered in the next couple of months,” Fotiadis said, outlining the company’s growth ambitions. “The food chain is fundamentally broken, and it’s putting the future of our food security at risk,” said Better Origin CSO and Founder Miha Pipan in a statement. “We’ve built a solution that aims to finally fix these flaws from the inside out.”