Insect-protein pet nutrition startup receives investment from Thai firm

BANGKOK – Thai Union Group PCL, a global seafood producer, announced on November 1 an investment in Orgafeed, a pet therapy startup based in Thailand. The amount of the investment was not disclosed.

Orgafeed produces pet food and therapeutic products for its Laika brand made from black soldier fly larvae, a sustainable protein alternative that is becoming more and more well known throughout the global pet nutrition market. The company participated in the first of the Thai Union Group’s SPACE-F, an incubator for global food technology startups that it co-founded in 2019.

“We believe insect protein is a sustainable option that helps raise the bar for the pet food industry, both in terms of nutritional benefits and sustainability,” said Etikorn Thibmani, co-founder and Circular Economy Officer at Orgafeed. “Through this partnership and investment from Thai Union Group, we will be able to expand our business as well as positive impacts on the environment. We look forward to this journey with Thai Union Group and our pet care experts and professionals.”

Thai Union Group’s PetCare platform, i-Tail, is expected to benefit from the investment in Orgafeed as it looks to strengthen its food portfolio. Orgafeed adds to its existing i-Tail pet portfolio, which includes Marvo, Bellota, Paramount and Calico Bay brands as well as several private label brands.

Thai Union recently expanded its presence in the Japanese pet food market after forming a subsidiary company to import, distribute and sell pet food and other pet products, the company said.

“At Thai Union, innovation and sustainability are important pillars of our business,” said Roy Chan, CEO of i-Tail. The pet industry is experiencing strong humane and individualization trends, which has led to customers searching for healthier and more sustainable products, thus pushing our portfolio towards sustainable pet products, such as insect protein, where the environmental impact (emissions, land and water use) is much lower than species other than cultured protein.

“Orgafeed will help us better serve our customers, particularly in the sustainable pet food sector. We are very excited to be involved in this round of financing and look forward to exploring opportunities to collaborate with them.”

The investment is made possible by Thai Union’s Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) Fund, which focuses its strategic investments on early stage companies to develop alternative proteins, functional nutrition, biotechnology and new technologies that benefit the food value chain.

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