AgriTech Better Origin Raises $16M for AI-Powered Sustainable Farms

Better Origin, AI, farming, food chain, livestock

Better Origin, the AgriTech startup that uses artificial intelligence-powered insect farms to repair the broken food chain, has raised $16 million to help return the chain to its sustainable roots, the lead funder announced Thursday (April 7).

The funding will be used to hire staff to fill engineering, biology, marketing and operations positions. In addition, the latest cash infusion will allow for further product and technology development to help grow the company. Better Origin currently specializes in poultry but plans to expand into new livestock areas.

This Series A round was led by  Balderton Capital, the London-based venture capital firm with participation from existing investors Fly Ventures and Metavallon VC.

The mission of the United Kingdom-based company is to transform how to feed the growing population safely, securely and sustainably by turning the global food supply chain into a local one.

Better Origin said its AI-powered insect mini-farms were developed to take local food waste from grocery stores and convert it into high-quality, sustainable animal feed.

By doing that, Better Origin said it eliminates the need to ship animal feed internationally and help fix the lack of sustainability and security in global food supply chains.

These insect farms are intended to create the conditions found in nature where food is eaten by insects and turned into essential nutrients for other animals to grow.

“The food chain is fundamentally broken, and it’s putting the future of our food security at risk,” said Better Origin CSO and Founder Miha Pipan in a statement. “We’ve built a solution that aims to finally fix these flaws from the inside out.”

In an interview with PYMNTS, Sonia Lo, then-CEO of Crop One Holdings, which operates vertical farms, said AI and analytics are key to growing crops with precision.

Read more: Farming’s AI, Data Driven (And Vertical) Tech Revolution

She said that vertical farming “essentially electrifies agriculture,” she said, adding that “anywhere that you can generate an electron you can grow food.”