July 5, The Hague. The future of food lies in alternative proteins. Today Unknown Group has made a bold claim in tomorrow’s taste by announcing an investment in Get in the Ring Global Startup Competition 2017 winner and the market leader in grasshopper meat production, Hargol FoodTech.
Founded in 2014 by the Israeli trio of Dror Tamir, Chanan Aviv and Ben Friedman, Hargol is leading the charge of newfound interest in the domain of insect meat as a more sustainable and nutritious alternative to traditional meat. They have amassed over 20 awards for their innovative grasshopper farming technology, including the title of Global Winner at Get in the Ring Global Startup Competition 2017, where their Co-Founder, Dror Tamir memorably ate a grasshopper on stage while pitching his solution!
From their state-of-the-art, 13,000 sq. ft. facility in Kidmat Tzvi in Northern Israel – the first and largest commercial grasshopper farm in the world – Hargol produces over 40 million grasshoppers annually. Their key market is the fitness and supplements industry, for which they developed ‘PRO72’, a grasshopper-made protein powder. Packed with nutrients, it contains 72% proteins and all 9 amino acids – significantly more than the prevalent whey and soy protein powder varieties.
Dror Tamir, Co-Founder of Hargol FoodTech said: ”We’re very happy to have Unknown Group on board as an investor. We got to know each other in 2017 through the Get in the Ring Global Startup Competition and have been in close contact ever since. We’re delighted to be one of the big Get in the Ring success stories and look forward to having Unknown’s business development expertise in the European market in our corner.”
By investing in a Get in the Ring finalist, Unknown proves how adding funding to the mix further strengthens Get in the Ring’s proposition to founders worldwide. Going beyond providing a global podium and facilitating dealmaking with leading organizations, the investment in Hargol shows how Unknown fuels founders to answer their calling with growth capital.
Investing in unconventional yet proven winners like Hargol is central to Unknown’s investment strategy – last month, we announced an investment in the 2021 Get in the Ring Global Startup Competition Finalist, 6Degrees.
Jurgen Nieuwenhuijsen, Global Director of Get in the Ring said: “We’ve been following Hargol’s growth path with a lot of interest since we met them in 2017. We are very impressed by their founding team’s uncanny ability to turn challenges into opportunities”. He adds, “By investing in another Get in the Ring winner, we’re proving how adding funding to the mix further strengthens our propositions to founders worldwide. Get in the Ring is more than the most global startup competition in the world – this investment is tangible proof of how we’re fuelling founders to answer their calling”.
He concludes: ”With the investment announcements in 6Degrees and now Hargol, we have some big initiatives in the pipeline to further strengthen Get in the Ring’s propositions to founders worldwide. It’s going to be a big summer for Get in the Ring – watch this space!”
– Dror Tamir on his entrepreneurial journey appearing on the Unknown Stories podcast (below)