Lithuania: Insect-derived ingredients company Divaks secures €3m

The business is creating a wide range of sustainable, traceable ingredients from the yellow mealworm
Divaks’ chief executive Kęstutis Lipnickas (left) and chairman Audrius Grušnis

Vilnius-based foodtech company Divaks has raised €3 million in Seed funding to develop its insect-derived ingredients for the food industry.

Founded in 2020, Divaks stated it is creating a wide range of sustainable, traceable ingredients from the yellow mealworm, adding that it is using low-value side-streams from local food producers and the wider agri-industry for feed.

The company has worked with Lithuanian universities and academic institutions to develop its ingredients and conduct initial rearing and breeding trials.

Having now completed a second round of Seed funding, Divaks is finalising the launch of its own pilot manufacturing facility, to scale production and provide first samples for potential clients.

In addition, the funds will be also be used to secure novel food authorisation with the European Commission.

Divaks’ co-founder and chief executive Kęstutis Lipnickas said of the raise: “We’re delighted to have raised the funds we need to take our project to the next level. The €3 million will allow us to continue our company’s growth while building an insect industry hub together with local and international academic institutions, partners, and suppliers.”

“With our unique, vertically integrated technology, we can provide high-quality insect protein products that are tailored to the demands of both clients and consumers,” the co-founder said.

Divaks is now seeking to raise up to €50 million through its Series A, which is planned to close in the first or second quarter of next year.

Audrius Grušnis, Divaks’ co-founder and chairman, said: “We’re building a vertically integrated insect protein business that can meet demand by delivering a wide array of high-quality, added value ingredients.”

Lipnickas added: “Insect meal will become an important commodity in the very near future and we see particularly high potential in the food industry. While the quality requirements and complexity are higher than in the feed industry, the possible returns are higher, too. Many of those in our core team have backgrounds in the food industry, giving us the expertise we need to play a vital role in this fast-growing sector.”