Cogastro Secures the First Investment of 170k and joins 70Ventures Accelerator
About the solution
Cogastro is seeking to increase sustainable feed and food consumption by boosting the insect-derived protein market with a much-needed IT tool.
Thanks to its data analytics tool, users will be able to make data-based decisions to improve efficiency and the scope of production. The system will make it possible to control the process and results while assuring consistent product quality.
Cogastro’s software focuses on three key areas: traceability, farm performance, convenience.
Most farms currently track their operations, the insect life cycle, and workflow on paper; some use Excel spreadsheets, and others don’t do it at all. It’s time-consuming, easy to make mistakes, and there are no standard or guidelines what data to collect, how or when to do it. Although data provides knowledge about feed conversation and other livestock ratios that would save costs and increase profit.
The Cogastro is designed to monitor, manage, and forecast the entire process, from feed stock delivery to the sale of the final product. The monitoring allows farm to optimize productivity, increase yield and harvest at exactly the right moment, thus providing traceability and compliance with the relevant laws.
For greater convenience, the data is securely stored in the cloud, where it can be viewed remotely whenever and wherever farm owner wants. The supply chain partners if allowed can connect and analyze production data in depth and thereby make recommendations on productivity and increase revenue as a result.
How it was born
The idea was born when Cogastro’s founder Mante Sidlauskaite started farming mealworms (Tenebrio molitor). She noticed the total lack of any tool to manage the process of breeding and for registering the impact of feed on the production. Also experimenting with different breeding programs and different batches of insects were labor intensive and far from being accurate. Keeping a record of actions and operations was as much a challenge as understanding and comparing the impact of different variables on the final result.
“Before I started farming insects, I used to work in an IT company where we had this culture that if something could be automated, you automate it,” said Mante.
About the investment
The first investments in the company came from a Lithuanian ventures capital fund 70Ventures and private investor Jos Dikhoff. When investors were asked what makes them to believe this is a good investment they answer:
“Investing is believing in the future, driven by passion of the founder and the opportunity to survive while addressing a real problem. Mante’s attitude guarantees both.” — tells Jos Dikhoff.
Gytenis Galkis Partner at 70Ventures added: “Founders passion for insect farming, structured business approach, and industry knowledge through Cogastro has the potential of addressing the rapidly growing edible insect farming market needs making it a lucrative investment opportunity.”
The investment will be dedicated to finalizing the pilot version of the product and delivering it to a primary group of farms who expressed an interest in it and were keen to use it.
About the market
According to the experts, the edible-insects market could reach 8 billion JAV dollars by 2030. But today already supermarket chains like Sainsbury in the UK and Loblaw in Canada amongst others — not to mention online sales platform Amazon — are already stocking their shelves with products made from insects.
According to Business Insider, Nestlé is researching various insect species and has even launched a pet food made from crickets.
Market growth is likely to be dictated by increasing consumer awareness of sustainability issues related to proteins consumption, processing and the products themselves.
Because edible insects require less land, consume less water and emit less CO2 than livestock for the same amount of valuable protein, it seems highly likely that people who care about global challenges and climate change will become more and more amenable to the idea of eating insects.
70Ventures is an “Acceleration fund” implemented through the Business Finance Fund and funded by the European Regional Development Fund. It is managed by Invega, its founding members are the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, together with the Ministry of Finance and Invega.
More about Cogastro read here: www.cogastro.com