Better Origin is a startup that converts waste food into essential nutrients using insects fed to chickens inside a standard shipping container. It has now raised a $ 3 million funding round seed series led by Fly Ventures and solar entrepreneur Nick Boyle, while previous investor Metavlon VC is also participating. Its competitors include Protix, Agryprotein, Innovafid, Entra, Enterocycle.
The product of superior origin is the “Autonomous Insect Mini Farm”. Its X1insect Mini Farm has been dropped on the site. A farmer adds food waste – collected from nearby factories or from a farm – into a hopper to feed the black soldier’s larvae.
After two weeks, the worms are fed directly to the chickens, as an alternative to the commonly found soy feed. For ease of use, everything inside the container is automated and remotely controlled by engineers of superior origins in Cambridge.
This process has a double effect. It not only takes into account food waste product as a by-product of agricultural practices, but also reduces the use of soy, the development of which contributes to deforestation and habitat loss in countries such as Brazil.
In addition, the epidemic has exposed the fragility of the global food supply chain, with the company saying that its solution is a way to decentralize food and feed production, thus preserving food supply chains and food security.
Better Origin says it is dealing with a real problem, and is a fair assessment. Western economies waste around a third of all food produced annually, but, on average, the demands of a growing population mean that food production will increase by 70%. Food waste is also the third largest emitter of greenhouse gas (GHG) after the US and China.
Founder Fotis Fotadis was working in the oil and gas industry when he decided he would work in a sustainable, non-polluting. After studying Sustainable Engineering at Cambridge University, and meeting cofounder Miha Pipan, the two worked at a permanent startup.
The company was launched in May 2020, now has five commercial contracts, and plans to expand across the UK.
Better Origin states that its differentiation with competitors is the nature of its ‘decentralized’ approach to pest cultivation, resulting in its units being, effectively, ‘drag-and-drop’ into the farm. In some sense, adding a server to a server farm is not unsatisfying.
The business model will be either on lease or to sell or sell the system with a subscribe model.