Polish insect-based protein producer HiProMine has secured about PLN 26.1 million (US$6.7 million) in funding from a total of 40 investors, allowing the company to finance its further expansion as a protein supplier to the European pet food industry. The business says it plans to increase its capacities by building a new research center and a new factory in Poland.
“We are currently launching two major investments: the construction of a technological center focused on insect breeding and genetics in Robakowo, close to the city of Poznań, and the construction of a production facility,” said Damian Józefiak, the president of the company’s management board and its co-founder.
The designed production facility will be built in Poland’s western Lubuskie region, according to Józefiak. “Its construction will allow us to secure production capacities at the level of 50,000 tons of insect-based products annually by 2023,” he said.
Protein product exported to EU pet food markets
HiProMine describes one of its flagship products, HiProMeat, as an “unrivaled source of unprocessed, natural and raw animal protein,” as well as an “effective response to the growing popularity of fresh meat food for dogs and cats.”
“The pet food industry is very much interested in our products,” Józefiak said. “Currently, 70% of our production is exported, mainly to pet food and feed producers from Germany, the UK and Scandinavia. We also sell smaller quantities to other countries in the European Union.”
Once the new factory is launched, HiProMine anticipates that its export sales could reach 90% of the company’s output. “We expect that the demand for such products will rapidly increase in the coming years,” said Józefiak, adding that the producer is currently working on developing new product categories.
Investors in HiProMine include Uber
As part of the latest financial deal, investors acquired 32% of HiProMine’s shares. In the coming months, the producer is planning a listing on the New Connect index of the Warsaw Stock Exchange (WSE). However, in the long-term, the company is considering to be listed on the stock exchange’s main index, according to Józefiak.
In the past, HiProMine attracted investments from major companies such as Uber, whose CEO, Travis Kalanick, announced in 2016 that his company would invest in four European startups, including HiProMine.
Adamowski is a freelance journalist based in Warsaw, Poland. He has written on various industries, including pet food, drinks, telecoms, energy, defense and pensions, for numerous English-language publications.