Friday Fundings: Ÿnsect, Unqork, and Dispo
Future Sustainable Insect Farm Raises $224 Million
The world’s largest insect farm is one funding round closer to becoming a reality. Ÿnsect raised $224 million in both equity and debt, bringing the startup’s total funding to $425 million since 2011. Ÿnsect is more than a luxury ant farm, but it aims to use insect farming to solve problems like overpopulation and climate change.
To start, Ÿnsect will use mealworms and other bugs as a protein source for fish farms, which need about 44 million tons of fish-feed per year. Right now, Ÿnsect is working on building its insect farm in Amiens, France, which is scheduled to open in 2022. Eventually, the farm will employ 500 workers and produce 100,000 tons of buggy products per year.
Ÿnsect already secured $105 million in contracts, and is an attractive investment for firms interested in sustainability. One notable investor in the current round is Robert Downey Jr.’s FootPrint Coalition, a firm looking to fight climate change through investing.
Rapid Growth Continues for Unqork with New Funding
In a Series C funding round, Unqork, a software company that helps organize and manage various applications without requiring any coding, raised $207 million—bringing its total valuation to $2 billion.
Unqork is known for its easy-to-use, completely visual platform, which big businesses can use to build custom software. Unqork founder and CEO Gary Hoberman said Unqork is “in a unique position to capture the $500 billion wasted annually on custom enterprise code.” Hoberman said this round of funding would help Unqork speed up its growth.
The funding comes as Unqork experiences rapid growth. The company hired over 200 new employees so far this year, and announced year-over-year growth of 320% in the first quarter of 2020. Unqork also opened a London office, and operates on four continents.
Reddit Co-Founder’s Fund Invests in Disposable Camera App
Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s new venture-capital fund, Seven Seven Six, announced its first investment: Dispo, a smartphone app that mimics the experience of taking and viewing disposable camera photos. The app was created by YouTube personality David Dobrik and Instagrammer Natalie Mariduena.
Despite their popularity on existing social-media platforms, Dobrik and Mariduena created Dispo in search of a more analog experience. Dispo mimics the look of a disposable camera on the smartphone screen. After snapping a picture, users have to wait until the next day at 9 a.m. for photos to “develop.” The app is intended to help users focus on shared experiences without filters or other editing.
The app is a natural fit for Ohanian, who is interested in helping people find genuine connection through technology. The $4 million investment will contribute to the development of new features for Dispo.
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