Agritech startup, Loopworm, on August 24, announced that it has raised $3.4 million in seed funding led by Omnivore and WaterBridge Ventures. The round also witnessed participation from Titan Capital and angel investors including Nadir Godrej of Godrej Agrovet, Sanjiv Rangrass former head of ITC, and Akshay Singhal of Log9 Materials.
Loopworm, in a statement, said it plans to use the seed funding for talent acquisition, research and development (R&D) including building laboratories, and to launch its first factory in North Bengaluru for scaling up production.
Founded in 2019 by IIT Roorkee graduates Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, Loopworm is an insect biotech startup that aims to optimise insect farming for smallholders while producing nutrients and ingredients for business-to-business (B2B) customers. The startup said, it aims to transform multiple sectors including aquaculture, pet food, and nutraceuticals using multi-species insect biotechnology.
“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,” said Bagaria and Gawri, in a joint statement.
Loopworm also said that it is building decentralised insect rearing facilities in partnership with smallholder farmers. The agritech startup added it aims to produce 3,00,000 metric tons (MT) of sustainable insect-based protein per annum, creating value from 7.5 million MT of food waste and agricultural byproducts, over the next five years.
“Omnivore is delighted to back Loopworm under our OmniX Bio initiative, which seeks to blaze a path forward for agrifood life sciences in India. Loopworm sees massive potential in transforming cultivated insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients,” said Mark Kahn, the Managing Partner of Omnivore.
In December 2021, the venture capital firm launched the OmniX Bio initiative to provide additional support to agrifood life science startups. Loopworm, in the statement, said this investment is Omnivore’s second deal under the initiative.
More recently, in April, Omnivore also launched its third fund with a target corpus of $130 million to invest in early-stage startups developing technologies for agriculture, food, and the rural economy.