South African agritech startup Nambu Group, whose technology produces high nutrition animal feed using the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly (Hermetia Illucens), has secured seed funding from E Squared Investments.

Nambu’s solution works by feeding food and organic waste to the larvae of the Black Soldier Fly, which then reproduce. The larvae are then sold as live feedstock, processed into a protein feed, with the by-product serving as a nutrient-rich compost.

Through this, the startup offers a sustainable recycling service for businesses by addressing the pressing issue of food waste disposal at landfills and providing innovative solutions for recycling beyond composting.

Nambu will use the funding to double its current 23-person staff, upgrade and expand its Black Soldier Fly (BSF) production facilities, improve product sales revenues and increase the sustainability of the business.

”Going into the new year with additional E Squared funding means that we can crystalise some promising engagements and expand without compromising our supply of high-quality feed or negatively affecting existing relationships and commitments,” said Lowell Scarr, founder and CEO of Nambu. “It also means that we can undertake R&D on further product offerings and process significantly more waste as part of our expanded waste management service.” 

According to data from Global Market Insights, the global alternative protein industry size crossed USD 60.45 billion in 2021 and is projected to record an 18.5% CAGR between 2022 and 2028, driven by the thriving focus of feed manufacturers to create feed products with high nutritional value. The insect protein market, on the other hand, is expected to reach $9.46 billion by 2030, at a CAGR of 28.4% during the forecast period 2022–2030.

This market potential is one of the reasons that motivated lead investor E Squared investments to support Nambu’s growth ambitions.

“We are excited to augment our Nambu partnership for this next phase of the growing venture. Expansion at this stage makes a lot of business sense and we are confident of Lowell’s ability to take Nambu to the next level whilst remaining committed to his vision,” said Tshilidzi Matlala, E Squared’s chief portfolio officer.

Nambu claims that it also provides waste management as a service and is looking to expand its capabilities to offer a sustainable and alternative recycling solution for businesses that generate significant amounts of food waste.

After expanding the capacity of its facilities, the startup will be able to process up to 20 tonnes of additional food waste per day.

Get the best African tech newsletters in your inbox