Renov Protein, a startup that turns an insect into protein

“Thanks to products derived from insects, we can feed animals, people and also plants”, we learned from the founders. Insect farming is an ecological alternative to feeding and fertilizing animals and humans. It is a source of proteins and derivatives, produced in the form of powder or oil usable for a variety of foods : food supplements for aquaculture, for the animals domestic, for animals such as poultry and swine, fertilizers natural products for the treatment of soils and agricultural crops. “It can also be used for the production of nano textiles or even artificial skin”, adds the co-founder.

Based in the Greater Casablanca region, the agritech startup is developing the cultivation of insects, mainly the mealworm (Tenebrio Molitor). “This mini site allowed us to develop our concept proof which today constitutes our pilot, thanks to the Innov Idea fund in the amount of 200,000 DH and donations from some private companies to prove our expertise and our technology”, he indicates.

He explains that this pilot helped them to understand the insect’s development, to freeze its nutritional formula to obtain good yields, to understand at what temperature and humidity level it develops best. But also, “freezing our business model with a view to our lfundraising event to turn our pilot site into an industrial demonstrator “, we underlined.

By the end of 2022, the start-up expects to complete a fundraiser of 10 million DH with private investors, large groups and companies, to set up an industrial demonstrator in an area of ​​1,500 m². In a second step, the objective is to raise DH 15 million “to transform our demonstrator into a real production site in an area of ​​6,000 m²”.

At the moment, 105 tons are pre-ordered and several tests carried out on site with renowned manufacturers.

Proteins that hit the mark

During confinement, Guilherme Regnery decide with your partner Jeremiah Perales put into practice an idea that I had a few years earlier. Together they study the nutritional potential of mealworms.

“We saw its great ability to reproduce in a small area, with little water, reusing organic waste and releasing less greenhouse gases. Their larvae are rich in proteins and polyunsaturated fatty acids”, explains Guillaume Regnery.

He continues: “We felt it was the right time to launch this project, which makes sense and is fully aligned with the circular economy. We then drafted the project by engaging with experts in the field of insect breeding, industry, processes and sustainable development project management.” Furthermore, these insects exist all over the world, do not carry diseases and do not have devastating effects on their environment.

“After a maximum of 90 days, the larvae are placed in the processing workshop where they undergo a thermomechanical process under the watchful eye of our industrial specialist with over 35 years of experience”, explains Guillaume Regnery. Upon arrival, a quality insect protein, insect oil “but also and above all NPK natural fertilizers that we have tested and approved.”

The start-up started with 4kg of insects and now manages 4 tonnes in vertical farming, “vertical farming is a way of raising insects in high crates to use minimal space”, explains the co-founder.

After studying Marketing and Sustainable Entrepreneurship at the Business School of Montpelier, he completed his studies in Kingston Upon Hull at the University of Hull Business in the UK. Since 2016, he has held marketing roles at Danone Morocco, General Mills MENA and Afriquia SMDC. He also obtained the “Change Entrepreneur at HEC Paris” certificate in 2021.

The two co-founders started the experiments in 2020 and benefited from the multi-month acceleration at the Maroccan Solar Cluster, Montpellier Business School and HEC Incubator at Station F in Paris. The start-up accumulates titles: it won first place in the AgriPitch Morocco – Tunisia organized by French Tech and won participation in the Viva Technology Paris fair and is among the 60 most promising African startups in Africarena.

The start-up also intends to create an African NGO from Morocco to promote and develop the insect sector in Africa, given its potential and positive impact on the environment and the future of food.

Leave a Comment