Dane Creek Capital Corp. (DCCC), a Mississauga, Ontario based merchant banking venture that focuses on pet industry investments, has increased its stake in Windsor, Nova Scotia based cricket producer Midgard Insect Farm Inc. from 48% to 65%. Financial terms were not announced.
The new funds will fuel ongoing research into crickets as an alternative and sustainable protein source for dog and cat food products, as well as new research into mealworms for the same purpose and cricket frass or ‘cricket manure’ as an agricultural soil amendment.
Funding will also be allocated toward the development of Midgard’s second location, a 1,500 square foot research facility on the grounds of Nova Scotia’s non-profit agricultural accelerator Perennia in Bible Hill. Last, the investment will also be used to create a cricket-based line of Midgard pet treats for dogs to be showcased at the upcoming SuperZoo, a national pet industry trade show in Las Vegas this coming July 25 to 27.
“We are very pleased with the progress Midgard has made thus far,” says Mark Warren, Chairman and CEO of DCCC. “Our initial investment has already resulted in a substantial increase in cricket production capacity and a number of engineering innovations that have improved the efficiency of Midgard’s cultivation practices beyond traditional methods. This second capital injection will help take Midgard to the next stage of development and solidify its position at the forefront of a growing edible insect industry in Canada.”
This environmental and nutritional potential coupled with an interest in food security is what led Dalhousie University graduate and current operator Joy Hillier to found Midgard. Through her partnership with DCCC, Hillier joins the ranks of women entrepreneurs closing the gender gap on securing capital investment in North America. Studies indicate only 10% of venture capital has been allotted to female founded startups spanning back to 2010 of which those in science and technology are particularly challenged.
“We have accomplished a huge amount of work in a very short time and this second investment from Dane Creek ensures we’ll be able to sustain that incredible momentum,” said Hillier. “We’ve brought on five new staff members to oversee our healthy and growing cricket population and made great strides toward improving our operational efficiency. I am very excited to now be able to more fully explore the nutritional opportunities presented by crickets as well as mealworms and the agricultural opportunities in cricket frass.”
Dane Creek Capital’s equity stake is held by Dockside Investco, its wholly owned holding company in Nova Scotia.
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Dane Creek Capital Corp.
photo credit: JimmyDominico via pixabay