In Ovo, a Dutch AgTech scaleup, announced on Tuesday that it has secured €34M in a Series B round of funding led by impact investor European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) and financing from ABN AMRO.
Other investors, including Evonik, VisVires New Protein and technology partner Demcon, participated in the round. This Series B funding round is further supported by Libertatis Ergo Holding of Leiden University.
The Leiden-based company will use the funds to accelerate its international growth and scale-up plans.
Co-founder Wouter Bruins says, “Getting Ella from an idea to a market-ready technology has been a fantastic journey, one that we couldn’t have made without the help of our initial investors. We can’t wait to start the next chapter in our mission and are super-excited to be joined in this by ECBF, ABN AMRO, and Demcon. We are looking forward to making a large positive impact in the food industry, together with our launching customers and our growing team of driven people.”
In Ovo: What you need to know
Wouter Bruins and Wil Stutterheim founded In Ovo in 2018 as a spin-off from Leiden University with one goal – to prevent the killing of day-old chicks.
Every year, around 6.5B male chicks are killed in the poultry industry. Right after hatching, chicks are manually sorted by gender and the male chicks are killed.
In an attempt to prevent it, In Ovo has developed a high-throughput screening machine called Ella, which can identify the gender of eggs before they hatch.
It enables hatcheries to only hatch females, eliminating the need for culling the males on an economic and industrial scale. After a decade of development, In Ovo’s Ella machine produced the first ‘cull-free chicks’ in Q4, 2020. Ella marks a huge step forward in animal welfare and the sustainability of the poultry industry claims the company.
The European Circular Bioeconomy Fund (ECBF) invests growth capital in visionary entrepreneurs and encourages private and public investors to assist late-stage bioeconomy companies.
Peter Nieuwenhuizen, Founding Partner ECBF, says, “We are delighted to join the founders and current investors of In Ovo on their journey. Poultry and egg farming is essential for the supply of protein to feed the world, and solving the issue of male chick culling will be transformational for the sector. We believe that In Ovo can be a force for good, not just by eliminating male chick culling but also by introducing additional practices that improve animal health & wellbeing, and increase resource efficiency.”
Fred Bos, Managing Director at ABN AMRO, says, “As a financial partner of In Ovo ABN AMRO is delighted to finance this initiative. We aim to provide a solid financial basis for companies that have the potential to accelerate the transition towards a sustainable, animal-friendly society. This initiative is a good example that fits with this ambition. Furthermore, the product-as-a-service proposition is a really innovative element that contributes to a more circular economy, a key theme at ABN AMRO.”