Pet food made from insect-s can be marketed as healthy, hypoallergenic and above all, sustainable – and investors are now taking the idea very seriously.

Malaysian firm Protenga this week announced a $2million venture cash deal to scale up its insect farming technology and launch 'YumGrubs' – a pet food brand proudly declaring its origins in insect protein.

The firm's Smart Insect Farms convert 'organic by-products' – that is plain old waste to you and I – into high value protein, suitable for the pet food, aquaculture and animal feed markets, with a byproduct of high quality organic fertiliser to improve soil quality and crop production in South East Asia.

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But the company is investing to make its insect farming system accessible and profitable as a basis for replication and expansion, and aims to become the largest insect company in its own region, and then look towards making a 'global impact'.

The business is based on the grubs of Black Soldier Flies, which will enthusiastically devour organic waste and turn it into a clean protein without any allergy issues, ticking all the boxes for a circular economy and regenerative agriculture. Protenga also maintains that its product is well received by dogs and their owners.

With previous investment, the company has already built and launched three facilities, and is now churning out a 'double-digit' tonnage every month. Production has ramped up tenfold within 2021 to reach installed capacity, with computer monitoring across its three facilities enabling consistent quality.

Founder and CEO Leo Wein said: "We have demonstrated our technology to farm insects and we are ready to scale to have a global impact. We have also been extremely pleased with the very positive customer and market feedback on our pet food offerings, providing validation of our team’s intensive R&D work over the last year."