We’re thrilled to announce the closing of our Series A funding round, led by Evonik Venture Capital with participation from VisVires New Protein and Leiden University.
Seven years ago, Wil and I founded In Ovo with the vision of preventing the death of billions of male day-old chicks worldwide. In the beginning, this started as a project by two students who knew a lot about biotechnology but little about the poultry industry. Over the years we have been helped greatly by those in the poultry sector who are serious about animal welfare and have been aided tremendously by academic staff at the Leiden University in their dedication to innovation. Today represents a huge step towards making our vision a reality.
When our journey began, improvements in animal welfare were generally regarded as antagonistic to production efficiency. We were told that whilst theoretically feasible, in ovo sexing would never be a reality due to none of the key stakeholders in the value chain being willing to facilitate the additional cost. Attitudes towards animal welfare have changed palpably since we began, with trends such as cessation of antibiotic usage and beak trimming being acknowledged by key players as areas for improvement. Paramount in such concerns is the killing of day-old chicks, and we are now in a position to offer the technology to prevent this.
Innovation is at the core of what we do at In Ovo, and we’re no longer just a project but a multi-faceted biotechnology company striving towards creating a better poultry sector. By looking into valorisation options for the would-be male eggs, we have attained proof of concept that we can use them a feedstock for the generation of high-value compounds. The techno-economical analysis performed on this process shows it will be able to add value to what would currently be considered a waste stream, showing we can uncouple improved welfare from decreased revenues.
As we enter our new phase of growth, I’m thrilled to announce our funding round led by Evonik Venture Capital and supported by VisVires New Protein and Leiden University. Evonik will bring their expertise in scaling up projects from lab- to industrial- scale, which will enable in ovo sexing to become a reality. The additional participation of VisVires New Protein brings expert knowledge on agri-food sector and brings on board a like-minded party that are serious about fronting up to the challenges post to modern agriculture. As a spin-out from Leiden University, we are of course thrilled with their involvement as investors and look forward to seeing what the results of our further collaboration will bring.
In Ovo was founded with the ambition to improve the quality of life for chickens. With this year’s launch of SmartStart™, our early feeding system developed in collaboration with Pas Reform, Philips and DSM Twilmij, we have had our first tangible success in this goal. The closing of our Series A funding round marks the start of our journey towards furthering this ambition.