Ittinsect is an Italian company producing aquaculture feed with novel raw ingredients including insects, micro algae and agricultural by-products. Through the EU BlueInvest Readiness Assistance programme, the start-up successfully raised €750,000 of which €625,000 in equity from investors. The BlueInvest coach has played a key role in the success of the start-up by equipping it with the right skills to participate in fundraising rounds and by facilitating quality introductions to investors.
EU guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture
The world has a growing appetite for fish and seafood. However, this demand cannot be satisfied by fisheries alone, to preserve biodiversity and fish stocks. Aquaculture has an increasing role to play in the European food system and in the restoration of the health of the sea. But conventional fish farming presents its own challenges. It has a lot of potential to become more competitive and resilient, as well as to improve its environmental and climate performance.
As outlined in the guidelines for sustainable and competitive EU aquaculture, diversification and increasing performance of European aquaculture’s production methods, will increase the resilience, competitiveness and sustainability of the food system.
Ittinsect’s aquaculture has zero impact on the ocean
The Italian start-up Ittinsect has taken up the challenge set by the EU guidelines. Through their innovative and unique biotech process, Ittinsect has created sustainable, high performance aquaculture feed, eight times more absorbable for fish digestion. The latter is produced through biotech treatment of novel raw ingredients including insects, micro algae and agricultural by-products. A fish receiving Ittinsect feed has a faster and more constant growth, a stronger immune system and a lower risk of digestive system inflammation compared to a fish subjected to traditional feed. In fact, there is a recorded 15% better growth compared to fish fed on traditional feeds.
Besides improvement in fish health and growth ratio, Ittinsect’s feed enables better feed conversion ratio at zero extra cost, with a FIFO (fish in – fish out) ratio of less than 1. By doing so, the company limits the need for ocean source fish by over 300 billion units and also reduces CO2 emissions in the aquaculture value chain.
BlueInvest – coaching and connecting companies with investors
Ittinsect’s journey with BlueInvest began in 2020 with their active participation in some of the BlueInvest events. In 2021, Ittinsect benefited from the BlueInvest Readiness Assistance programme and worked hand in hand with a knowledgeable coach, himself a successful entrepreneur in the field, to reach their business objectives.
In the words of founder and CEO, Alessandro Romano,
BlueInvest has always been really supportive of us. We were assigned a coach who was extremely suitable for our needs, also capable of understanding and guiding us on the technical and product development. It was a really positive experience.
Not only Ittinsect successfully finalised the design of a product they were developing by the end of the programme, but BlueInvest Readiness Assistance also equipped them with the right skills to participate in fundraising rounds, through quality inputs and advice from pertinent investors. The BlueInvest coach facilitated quality introductions to investors: Katapult Ocean and Indico Capital Partners. After receiving some regional grants in 2021, Ittinsect raised €625,000 in equity at the end of 2022, from the latter together with CDP Venture Capital and LVenture Group.
In the coming year, Ittinsect looks to increase its production and grow in the Italian market. The company also aims to raise further rounds of capital. With the knowledge gained through the Readiness Assistance program, the start-up is currently working to develop a functional ingredient to be included in salmon feeds by the end of the year and plans to launch complete feeds for sea bass and sea bream in June 2023. In 2024, Ittinsect seeks to raise a next round of investment amounting to a minimum of €4 million, with a focus on internationalisation and further scale up of the biotech production.
BlueInvest Readiness Assistance is an exclusive EU coaching programme for high potential start-ups and SMEs in the EU with innovative and sustainable products and solutions for the blue economy. Businesses and projects selected for Investment Readiness Assistance will receive coaching packages tailored specifically to their readiness levels and business objectives. The programme is impact-driven, with a clear focus on providing business support to help start-ups and SMEs build capacities for growth and attract investment.
Interested? Apply now by registering to the BlueInvest Community and completing the dedicated Readiness Assistance application form. The current application deadline is the 7 April 2023. For any questions, reach out to email@example.com.
Ittinsect’s BlueInvest Experience: BlueInvest Community,BlueInvestReadiness Assistance, BlueInvest Pipeline, BlueInvest e-Pitch sessions, BlueInvest Day
- Publication date
- 27 February 2023
- Directorate-General for Maritime Affairs and Fisheries