Agronutris, the first French biotechnology company specialized in rearing and transforming insects for food, is announcing that it has raised 100 million euros, including 50 million euros of equity, notably from the SPI Industrial Project Fund and Mirova. This operation will enable the company to deploy its first industrial unit in Rethel (Ardennes) by the end of 2022 and fund the creation of a second larger site.

At the cutting edge of a key sector for humanity, which is expected to see its development accelerate over the coming years, Agronutris brought together for this round of fundraising a number of committed and complementary stakeholders, effectively positioned to support the company over the long term on various levels:
  • 50% equity, subscribed for by the SPI Industrial Project Fund, managed by Bpifrance, the lead partner on this operation, as well as Mirova, Nutergia Group, Crédit Agricole Nord-Est and the business angel Bertrand Jelensperger;
  • 40% long-term debt with Caisse d’Epargne Grand-Est, Caisse d’Epargne Haut de France and Caisse d’Epargne Midi-Pyrénées, CIC and Crédit Coopératif, as well as a major energy industry group;
  • 10% subsidies provided by the French State as part of the France Relance stimulus plan (€8m) and by the Grand-Est region.
Marc Romano, Head of Impact Private Equity Funds at Mirova: “While Agronutris is clearly contributing towards protecting the environment, in this unique company we have also found a shared governance model that is very innovative from a social perspective and perfectly aligned with our ESG1 investment criteria. Taking into account this company’s progress and proven potential, its model has successfully shown that it works and Mirova is proud to help drive its future development”.

Agronutris is one of the most advanced companies in the sector for rearing and transforming insects for protein, which the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) considers to be one of the most promising solutions for the challenges surrounding food2. A pioneer in Europe, Agronutris has experienced R&D and agroindustry teams: this combination of talents has enabled the company to reach its industrial stage today. Agronutris is the only company in France to have reared three species on a significant scale: cricket, mealworm (Tenebrio Molitor) and black soldier fly (Hermetia Illucens). It is also the only company to have been granted approval to sell insects for human food3. The industrial site’s initial production operations will focus on the rearing and transformation of the black soldier fly for the aquaculture and pet food markets.

The Rethel site, in France’s Ardennes region, is positioned at a European crossroads, close to the Belgian and German borders. One of the key factors behind choosing this location is the presence of a number of different sources of inputs, with agroindustry subproducts and byproducts, which will be used to feed the insects reared in the plant. In addition to value-added flours and oils resulting from the company’s exclusive manufacturing process, the production waste materials are transformed into organic fertilizer, which will in turn be used to feed the region’s crops. This “return to the land” completes the loop for the circular economy cycle conceived by the teams from Agronutris.

The first two sites will be able to convert 280,000 tons of agricultural agroindustry bio-waste each year and will make it possible to create 200 jobs in the Grand-Est region and at the research center in Occitanie. By setting up nine production sites by 2029 with a combined annual conversion capacity of 1.5 million tons of bio-waste, Agronutris aims to establish itself as a world leader for sustainable nutrition.

Agronutris also has an innovative organizational model, with its human-centric way of operating and governance structure. Each day, Agronutris is developing a ground-breaking organization with a view to being:
  • a mission-driven organization based on freedom, trust and shared governance;
  • a collective adventure mindful of others and its impact on its ecosystem.
This is notably reflected in a neuronal organization without a management committee, with a democratic decision-making process for the company’s key stakes, as well as the collective management of compensation packages, transparency on pay, and a sharing of value with an equal amount of free shares for all staff.

For further reading:
1 Environmental, Social and Governance

2 Edible Insects - Future prospects for food and feed security, FAO, 2013

3 European Commission Novel Food approval in June 2021


Mirova is an affiliate of Natixis Investment Managers.
Portfolio management company - French Public Limited liability company
Regulated by AMF under n°GP 02-014
RCS Paris n°394 648 216
Registered Office: 59, Avenue Pierre Mendes France – 75013 – Paris.

Natixis Investment Managers
Natixis Investment Managers is a subsidiary of Natixis.
Portfolio management company - French Public Limited liability company
RCS Paris n°453 952 681
Registered Office: 43, Avenue Pierre Mendes France – 75013 – Paris.

This communication is for information only and is intended for investment service providers or other Professional Clients. The analyses and opinions referenced herein represent the subjective views of the author as referenced unless stated otherwise and are subject to change. There can be no assurance that developments will transpire as may be forecasted in this material.

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