Roslin's Beta Bugs nets seven-figure sum to scale eco-friendly insect offering
Insect genetics business Beta Bugs, which is based at the Roslin Innovation Centre at the Easter Bush Campus, has secured the sum to boost the production, sale, and supply of its Black Soldier Fly eggs and larvae. The £1.72 million funding round was led by The Tricapital Syndicate LLP, with participation from Beeches Group and Climate.vc as well as SIS Ventures and Scottish Enterprise, together with existing shareholders and InnovateUK.
Beta Bugs says it has developed the UK’s first comprehensive selective breeding programme and egg production site for the Black Soldier Fly, which is farmed as an eco-friendly alternative protein source for use in animal feed.
The firm was established in 2017 by chief executive Thomas Farrugia, has a team of 12, and says it will be looking to recruit four more full-time commercial and technical staff in the coming months. As part of its growth plans, Beta Bugs has also appointed international agribusiness veteran Chris Richards as non-executive chair.
Farrugia said: "Beta Bugs has supplied its industry-leading products to an increasing number of established and new entrant insect farmers in the UK and international markets. Completing this investment will allow us to expand production capacity, drive to profitability over the coming 18-24 months, and further strengthen our market leadership position in the strategically important insect farming industry.”
Kerry Sharp, director of entrepreneurship and investment at Scottish Enterprise, said: “We have supported Beta Bugs through our high-growth ventures team as well as financially, and this recent investment will help the company fly high… It’s a great example of a Scottish bio tech scale-up providing value in the supply chain for the agriculture industry, and with benefits for the economy and environment.”
Arran Dewar, executive director at SIS Ventures, part of Social Investment Scotland (SIS), said: “By creating jobs and diverting waste for its ground-breaking breeding programme, [Beta Bugs] will deliver significant impact here in Scotland, with the potential to deliver even greater impact globally… We’re very happy to welcome Thomas and the team into the SIS Ventures portfolio, and look forward to helping them achieve their impact goals.”
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