“Long road to profitability” forces feed company INSEACT to sell

INSEACT Co-Founders Tim van Vliet and Michael Badeski.

Singapore-based Karang Foodie, which specializes in upcycling food waste, has acquired feed company INSEACT. The all-equity deal will see 100 percent of INSEACT’s shares transferring to Karang’s control.

Amid rising global demand for alternative feed, as seafood companies seek to lower input costs and secure supply in the face of high fishmeal costs, there are also signs that high-interest rates are impacting the ability of firms to raise cash, which is one of the main reasons why INSEACT decided on selling its company rather than pursuing other forms of funding.

“We have been trying to raise Series A [funding], but the dilution would be too high and the runway too short,” INSEACT Co-Founder Tim van Vliet told SeafoodSource. “We made the decision that we’d rather sell than take investor money.”

Van Vliet said his company signed sales worth SGD 10 million (USD 7.7 million, EUR 6.9 million) since introducing its product to the market and that the firm is in “good hands” in the ownership of Stephanie Kudus and George Foo, the entrepreneurs behind Karang Foodie. Bug along with INSEACT’s fellow co-founder Michael Badeski, van Vliet rang alarm bells about the industry’s ability to raise money due in part to high-interest rates, which have dampened investors’ ability to borrow cheaply and combined with investor skepticism to hurt the sector's ability to grow.

“I don’t believe the alternative feed industry is doing that well,” van Vliet said. “The long road to profitability is not accepted by investors these days. The markets and startups in general are doing badly right now, and it’s hard to raise money at decent valuations, especially for capex-intensive projects.”

More established players in the feed sector are ... 

Photo courtesy of INSEACT

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