Loopworm raises $3.4 m from Omnivore, WaterBridge Ventures and others

BL Bengaluru Bureau | | Updated on: Aug 24, 2022
Ankit Alok Bagaria (left) and Abhi Gawri, co-founders of Loopworm

Ankit Alok Bagaria (left) and Abhi Gawri, co-founders of Loopworm

The company uses multi-species insects to convert food waste into protein-rich nutrients and value-added ingredients

Agri-biotech start-up, Loopworm has raised a $3.4-million seed round from investors co-led by Omnivore, WaterBridge Ventures and Titan Capital. Angel investors, including Nadir Godrej (Godrej Agrovet), Sanjiv Rangrass (ex-ITC), and Akshay Singhal (Log9 Materials) have also participated in the seed round.

Loopworm optimises insect farming for smallholders, while producing value-added nutrients and ingredients for B2B customers. The company uses multi-species insects to convert food waste into protein-rich nutrients and value-added ingredients. This circular economy start-up will help transform multiple sectors, including aquaculture, pet food, and nutraceuticals. Loopworm is Omnivore’s second investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which backs early-stage agri-food life science start-ups.

Based in Bengaluru, Loopworm was founded in 2019 by IIT Roorkee graduates Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri. The entrepreneurs are simultaneously solving India’s food waste crisis, increasing the incomes of smallholder farmers, and showcasing the power of Indian biotechnology in addressing environmental challenges.

Emulating poultry integration in India, Loopworm is building decentralised insect rearing facilities in partnership with smallholder farmers. Over the next five years, the start-up aims to produce 300,000 tonnes of sustainable insect-based protein per annum, creating value from 7.5 million tonnes of food waste and agricultural by-products.

Loopworm plans to use the seed funding for talent acquisition, R&D (including building world-class laboratories), and to launch their first factory for scaling up production.

The co-founders, Bagaria and Gawri, said, “We are thrilled to have Omnivore, Waterbridge, Titan Capital, and several experienced angels, including Nadir Godrej, as investors in Loopworm. We plan to use the new funding to set up our first Loop Factory in North Bengaluru, hire talent, and accelerate R&D.”

Mark Kahn, the Managing Partner of Omnivore, said: “Omnivore is delighted to back Loopworm under our OmniX Bio initiative, which seeks to blaze a path forward for agri-food life sciences in India. Loopworm sees massive potential in transforming cultivated insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients, and Omnivore believes the company will quickly become one of India’s leading biotech startups.”

Ashish Jain, Partner at WaterBridge Ventures, said, “We are excited to see Ankit and Abhi solving for sustainable and scalable food resources, which are traceable and, hence, easier for mainstream adoption. Loopworm, sitting at the cusp of climate-tech and food-tech, has the potential to continue moving up the value chain as its product suite evolves and emerges as a truly scaled player.”

Published on August 24, 2022
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