Magalarva uses black soldier fly larvae to 'reduce as much organic waste as possible from going to landfill sites, while producing sustainable, high-quality protein that can substitute the unsustainable use of fish meal in animal feed or pet food.' (Photo courtesy of Magalarva)

Food Waste Startup Secures Seed Funding to Tackle Jakarta's Massive Garbage Problem

JUNE 12, 2019

Jakarta. Magalarva, a startup that turns organic waste into protein powder, has secured $500,000 in seed funding from an unnamed Indonesia-based multinational company to help it expand its production facility in the greater Jakarta area. 

The startup was established in 2017 to conduct research into the use of black soldier fly larvae to break down organic waste. Magalarva started operations of a pilot facility in August last year, harvesting the fly larvae and turning them into protein powder and organic fertilizer. 

In the first 10 months of operations, Magalarva has processed more than 200 tons of organic waste and produced 50 tons of larvae and 30 tons of organic fertilizer.

The fresh funding will help the company scale up its operations by a factor of 15.

"We are going to build our flagship facility in the greater Jakarta area. In this flagship facility, we expect to expand our production to 5 tons of larvae per day while processing up to 30 tons of organic waste per day," said Rendria Labde, chief executive of Magalarva. 

The company will use some of the funds for research on production efficiency and automation. It will also hire more employees as it eyes the animal feed export market. 

Magalarva said its main purpose is to "reduce as much organic waste as possible from going to landfill sites, while producing sustainable, high-quality protein that can substitute the unsustainable use of fish meal in animal feed or pet food."

The company previously secured pre-seed funding after participating in Skala, an accelerator program initiated by the Salim Group's Innovation Factory and Japanese venture capital firm GREE Ventures. 

About 60 percent of the waste produced in Indonesia is organic in nature. The country is throwing away nearly 300 kilograms of food per person each year, making it the world's second-largest food waster after Saudi Arabia, according to the Economist Intelligence Unit.

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