India’s leading insect biotech startup, Loopworm, has recently raised a USD 3.4 million Seed round co-led by Omnivore and WaterBridge Ventures, with participation from Titan Capital and leading angel investors including Nadir Godrej (Godrej Agrovet), Sanjiv Rangrass (ex-ITC), and Akshay Singhal (Log9 Materials). Loopworm is optimising insect farming for smallholder farmers while producing value-added nutrients and ingredients for B2B customers. Loopworm is Omnivore’s second investment under its OmniX Bio initiative, which backs early-stage agrifood life science startups.
Based in Bangalore, Loopworm was founded in 2019 by IIT Roorkee graduates Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri. The two young entrepreneurs are simultaneously solving India’s food waste crisis, increasing the incomes of smallholder farmers, and showcasing the power of Indian biotechnology to address environmental challenges. Using multi-species insect biotechnology, Loopworm is upcycling food waste into protein-rich nutrients and value-added ingredients. This circular economy startup will help transform multiple sectors including aquaculture, pet food, and nutraceuticals.
Emulating poultry integration in India, the startup is building decentralised insect rearing facilities in partnership with smallholder farmers. Over the next five years, the startup aims to produce 300,000 MT of sustainable insect-based protein per annum, creating value from 7.5 million MT of food waste and agricultural by-products. Loopworm plans to use the Seed funding for talent acquisition, R&D (including building world-class laboratories), and to launch their first factory for scaling up production.
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Speaking on how this funding would be beneficial for the expansion of the startup, Ankit Alok Bagaria and Abhi Gawri, co-founders of Loopworm, said, “We are thrilled to have Omnivore, Waterbridge, Titan Capital and several experienced angels, including Nadir Godrej, as investors in Loopworm. We plan to use the new funding to set up our first Loop Factory in North Bangalore, hire talent, and accelerate R&D.”
Mark Kahn, Managing Partner, Omnivore said, “Omnivore is delighted to back Loopworm under our OmniX Bio initiative, which seeks to blaze a path forward for agrifood life sciences in India. Loopworm sees massive potential in transforming cultivated insects into value-added nutrients and ingredients, and Omnivore believes the company will quickly become one of India’s leading biotech startups.”
Ashish Jain, Partner at WaterBridge Ventures said, “We are excited to see Ankit and Abhi solving for sustainable and scalable food resources which are traceable and hence easier for mainstream adoption. Loopworm, sitting at the cusp of climate-tech and food-tech, has the potential to continue moving up the value chain as its product suite evolves and emerges as a truly scaled player.”