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BioBuu raises $200k to scale insect-based agritech
Agricultural technology start-up BioBuu, based in Tanzania, has raised $200 000 in seed funding from the GIIG Africa Fund. The funds will be used to hire additional talent, expand the product range, and increase production and export capabilities in Tanzania and Kenya.
BioBuu, founded in 2015, uses black soldier flies to process and recycle organic waste from restaurants and households into high-protein chicken and fish feed, and organic compost.
The products are sold on to farmers, who use them to improve crop yields and replace more expensive animal feeds, reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill, while helping to improve the quality of agriculture in Africa.
BioBuu was named African winner of the agritech category at last year’s Global Startup Awards. The company is valued at $5 million, following investment from impact investors, sweat equity, and grant funding secured between 2015 and 2018.
“We aim to expand our floating fish pellet production capabilities in Tanzania as well as begin to export insect protein out of our facility in Kenya,” says BioBuu Founder and chief executive of Kigen Compton.
“Part of this funding will also be used to further commercialize both the insect oil pressed from the protein as well as the carbon credits offset by reducing waste to landfill. In-line with our labour-intensive nature, we will be hiring more staff, to be able to take in more waste and scale up across our two factories.”
Mahyar Makhzani, co-founder of GIIG Africa says, “Population growth and growing demand for food and waste management are arguably more poignant in Africa, which is set to become the largest continent globally by way of population size in 2050. It is therefore imperative that we drive more investment into innovation in these spaces, to ensure the continent is ready to meet these challenges head on.”
The need for innovative solutions to modernise waste management and sustainably drive agriculture comes as the global population is expected to reach 9.7 billion people by 2050.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has said sustaining such a population will require a 70% increase in world food production, with the World Bank estimating global waste to amount to 3.4 billion tonnes each year by 2050.
These developments threaten to accelerate deforestation, put severe strain on fresh water reserves, and lead to poor health and wellbeing for people living in densely populated urban areas where waste production is highest.
“The Global Startup Awards are a great opportunity to showcase your company to a wider audience and procure investors outside of your immediate market,” says Compton.
“I highly recommend other innovators and entrepreneurs from across Africa the get involved in the next season of the African Startup Awards. It is a great platform for companies that have proven their business model in their home country or region to be showcased and introduced into a wider audience of both clients and potential investors across the continent.”
BioBuu is a sustainable animal feed company and social enterprise that recycles organic refuse into animal feed and fertiliser, reducing the amount of food waste that ends up in landfill while improving the quality of agriculture in Africa.
For more information, go to www.biobuutz.com. The GIIG Africa Fund is the exclusive partner to the African region of the Global Startup Awards.