(2016-03-31) Youll Eat Bugs These Investors Are Betting Millions On It

You'll Eat Bugs. These Investors Are Betting Millions on It. Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis are used to people laughing at them. Three years ago the two college roommates ordered two boxes of live crickets off the Internet, the sort you might feed your pet iguana. They promptly shoved the two shoebox-sized containers of insects into the freezer. Later, they ground the tiny frozen corpses in a blender and, using Lewis' own recipe, made a batch of protein bars that replaced whey powder with cricket dust.

Today Sewitz and Lewis' company, Exo, announced it has raised $4 million in a series A round of funding

Fellow cricket protein bar makers Chapul won a $50,000 investment from Mark Cuban on Shark Tank in 2014, and Tiny Farms, a company that develops technology for raising insects, announced an undisclosed amount of funding earlier this year

The key, Sewitz believes, is in using insect protein in foods that people already eat, rather than encouraging people to eat whole insects. According to a Consumer Reports taste test, most insect bars don't have even a hint of "insect grossness." That's because the the powder doesn't have a strong taste, Sewitz says, which means you can use it to add protein to a wide variety of foods.

Whey protein bars often contain many additives, Sewitz says. He and Lewis made the first batch of Exo bars with about 10 common ingredients they bought at the local natural foods store. Lewis and Sewitz no longer make the bars at home---they outsource to a manufacturer now---but they are keeping the ingredient list slim.

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