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Ynsect - Lessons from building the world's largest insect farming company with Antoine Hubert
Episode 1027th June 2022 • Climate Insiders • Yoann Berno
00:00:00 00:45:07

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Antoine Hubert is the CEO of Ynsect, the world's largest insect farming startup based out of France.

They were founded in 2011 and today they count more than 230 employees, have raised more than 450m EUR, which is half of ALL the investments made in the insect farming sector to date.

They are considered the FIRST Climate Tech unicorn out of France (or "soonicorn") and the only one in the insect farming space globally.

Listen and Learn

  • Ynsect’s key pivotal moments in their 10-year journey (01:30)
  • Ynsect’s first fundraising and the early scaling up phase (3:00)
  • How Ynsect managed to get to €150m in contracted revenue (4:30)
  • The 3 main steps in the development of Ynsect: innovation, industrialization, internationalization (6:30)
  • The 3 main bottlenecks they had to overcome: commercial traction, regulatory, technology (7:00)
  • Why most investors are eager to invest in asset light businesses when the transition requires hardware investments (8:30)
  • Why governments (Bpifrance, EIF, EIB…) should subsidize startups even more to develop global champions in manufacturing and life sciences (10:00)
  • The competitive landscape in insect farming (11:00)
  • Europe is importing 50% of its protein needs from South and North America, meaning we are hugely dependent (11:30)
  • Why insect farming’s geostrategic importance led to quick regulations (12:00)
  • Europe’s has the most advanced insect farming companies in the world (13:00)
  • How their acquisition of Protifarm enabled Ynsect to start tackling the human food market (14:00)
  • Why the bridge between pet food and human food is actually quite small (14:30)
  • Why insect production is one of the most complex farming processes in the world (17:00)
  • Ynsect is in the Top 10 patent filing companies in France and has more than half of all patents in the insect farming world (18:30)
  • Ynsect’s strategy to scale internationally and become an insect giant (20:30)
  • The structural shift that Ynsect had to do to enable growth (22:00)
  • The most important lessons learned in the last 3 years (24:00)
  • Why lifting the taboo of money is important to reconcile environmental activism and business  (27:00)
  • Why the best investment funds are entrepreneurs funds (29:30)
  • How they succeeded in aligning all their stakeholders on financial returns AND impact (30:30)
  • Why Antoine published a book to diffuse important ideas on planet, people and profit (31:00)
  • They raised the minimum wage by 35% to €25k annually which represents a big change for workers (32:00) 
  • The joint efforts by La French Tech to support gender equality (34:00)
  • Tackling the taboo of industrialization in order to relocalize factories, knowledge and workers in Europe (36:00)
  • How they’ve revolutionized the working conditions. “The factory is so clean you can eat on the ground!” (39:00)
  • The 5 Steps to land your dream job in Climate (41:00)

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