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Monday, March 4, 2024

Agritech startup Loopworm gets  $3.4M for talent acquisition, R&D

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Agritech startup Loopworm raised $3.4 million in seed funding. The company will use the money for talent acquisition, research and development (R&D) including building laboratories, among other things.

Loopworm, an agritech firm, had secured $3.4 million in early investment backed by Omnivore and WaterBridge Ventures. Titan Capital and angel investors such as Nadir Godrej of Godrej Agrovet, Sanjiv Rangrass, former CEO of ITC, and Akshay Singhal of Log9 Materials also participated in the round.

Loopworm stated in a statement that the seed capital would be used for talent acquisition, research and development (R&D), including the construction of laboratories, and the launch of its first plant in North Bengaluru to scale up manufacturing.

Loopworm, an insect biotech firm founded in 2019 by IIT Roorkee grads Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, intends to optimise insect farming for smallholders while providing nutrients and ingredients for business-to-business (B2B) clients. The business stated that it intends to use multi-species insect biotechnology to disrupt numerous industries, including aquaculture, pet food, and nutraceuticals.

“We are happy to have Omnivore, Waterbridge, Titan Capital, and a number of seasoned angel investors, including Nadir Godrej, as Loopworm investors.”

In a joint statement, Bagaria and Gawri stated, “We want to use the additional capital to establish our first Loop Factory in North Bengaluru, employ talent, and expedite R&D.”

Loopworm has also said that it is constructing decentralised insect rearing facilities in collaboration with smallholder farmers. Over the next five years, the agritech business hopes to create 3,00,000 metric tonnes (MT) of sustainable insect-based protein every year, generating value from 7.5 million MT of food waste and agricultural wastes. “Omnivore is thrilled to support Loopworm through our OmniX Bio programme, which aims to pave the way for agrifood life sciences in India.”

Loopworm sees enormous potential in converting grown insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients,” stated Omnivore Managing Partner Mark Kahn.

The venture financing business started the OmniX Bio initiative in December 2021 to give further support to agrifood life science entrepreneurs.

Loopworm stated in the announcement that this is Omnivore’s second investment under the project.

In April, Omnivore also created its third fund, with a target corpus of $130 million, to invest in early-stage entrepreneurs creating agricultural, food, and rural economy solutions.


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