Singapore-based venture capital firm Sirius Venture Capital and Netherlands-basedSLJ Investment have led a $600,000 seed funding round in Hargol FoodTech, an Israeli startup that pioneered sustainable grasshopper farming to yield consumable protein, according to an announcement.
Along with the investment, Wong Hin Sun Eugene, Founder and Managing Director of Sirius VC, will join Hargol’s board.
Founded in 2014, Hargol is the world’s first food technologist to introduce an innovative system to breed grasshoppers in climate-controlled facilities at industrial scale. It employs vertical farming using its specialised innovative cage infrastructure, in which grasshoppers grow under highly sanitised conditions all year round.
As demand for protein is estimated to double by 2050, Hargol is well-positioned to cater to the growing alternative protein market.
“By investing in a venture that offers pioneering solutions to circumvent the foreseeable shortage in animal protein, we are advocating new dietary habits and at the same time, generating new market opportunities,” said Eugene Wong.
Hargols plans to use the latest funding to increase production capacity to solidify its position as a global provider of alternative protein.
“With Sirius’ investment at an early stage, along with the on-going support from its management, Hargol was able to realise its vision of becoming the world’s first commercial grasshopper farm in Northern Israel in a short period of time,” said Dror Tamir, CEO of Hargol. “Beyond its investment, Sirius extended to us with strategic consulting and access to its wide network of business partners, regulators and investors.”
Sirius Venture Capital has invested in food and beverages companies in the areas of food production, supply chain and consumption.
It has expanded its portfolio to include food delivery businesses through its venture in Lalamove and food tech companies including Chapul, a US company that promotes edible insects as a sustainable source of protein.
It has also invested in AgFunder, a US-based platform for agriculture and food startups to seek investment capital from investors, to gain greater insights into food tech start-ups worldwide.