NAHSHONIM, ISRAEL — FreezeM, a Breeding-as-a-Service (BaaS) biotechnology company for black soldier fly (BSF) protein rearing solutions, announced Feb. 15 it had closed its series A funding round with $14.2 million. Investments were led by the European Innovation Council Fund (EIC Fund), as well as new and existing investors.

According to FreezeM, the company will leverage this funding to accelerate commercialization and scale its network of breeding hubs to meet what it described as “rapidly increasing market demand” for insect-based proteins.

“The current funding round will enable FreezeM to embed our technology globally at scale and accelerate the growth of our breeding hubs in Europe and Israel, thereby driving successful commercial expansion,” said Yuval Gilad, Ph.D., co-founder and chief executive officer at FreezeM. “Our technology unleashes the insect market from its shackles and will propel the insect protein market to fulfill its true potential.”

According to a report by Meticulous Research cited by FreezeM, the global market for BSF protein could reach $3.96 billion by 2033. This includes applications in the livestock feed and pet food markets, as insect-based proteins are seen as sustainable alternatives to traditional proteins due to their circularity and reduced environmental impact. FreezeM aims to foster growth in this sector by leveraging biotechnology to streamline the breeding process.

The company offers PauseM®, a proprietary solution comprised of “paused” life-cycle BSF neonates with a 14-day shelf life and survival rates exceeding 90% on average. This solution allows processors to receive “paused” neonates and store them depending on their production needs, and creates a decoupled production model between breeding, rearing and processing that allows producers to enhance production efficiency and scalability, according to FreezeM.

Breeding is a common bottleneck for industrial BSF protein production, according to FreezeM, involving gaps in technology and instability in the colonies of insects. PauseM offers a way to control the supply chain for the breeding phase and is ultimately aimed at supporting growth and scalability of the global insect protein sector.

FreezeM offers its PauseM solution to both small- and large-scale BSF protein facilities around the world. The company was founded in 2018 by three graduates of the Weizmann Institute of Science, a leading scientific research university in Rehovot, Israel.

Read more global pet food and treat news from outside North America.