Vilnius, Vilnius city municipality, Vilnius County, Lithuania
Member Since 2022
About my Start-up

Started in 2020, Divaks is developing fully automated vertically integrated insect protein business. Our goal is to create high-quality insect-derived ingredients for the food industry, that excel in nutritional and functional qualities.
Since the beginning of the company, we are committed to sustainable choices – we build our insect farms relying on the principles of circular economy, traceable materials, and a guarantee to ensure the best living, breeding, and rearing conditions to our insects.
Divaks is growing fast. We have recently launched our pilot facility, which will enable us to develop high – quality insect protein ingredients, which can be adapted according to our customer needs. We have successfully taken the first step and signed the Novel Food Dossier licensing agreement to produce mealworm proteins for food applications. This agreement will take our project to the next level and empower us to continue our entry into the market.
Continuing our research and creating unique technologies will allow us to ensure constant quality of our ingredients. Great attention to clients` needs, knowledge, and flexibility makes us a reliable partner to create insect protein solutions.
Already established contacts with > 100 potential clients (including multinational food and pet food companies). Sample products delivered. Negotiating LOIs. Developed technological solution for full processing cycle. Conducted two pre-feasibility studies and undergoing feasibility study with Bühler Group
Selected land plot for the construction of the plant in a favorable location and signed contract for the design and built of the factory facility. Undergoing planning, design and environmental assessments.
Already secured angel and seed rounds funding of €3 M. Currently we are seeking €30 M of venture (Series A) capital to finance the construction of the plant and net working capital. The total deployed capital (equity and debt) will be €60 M.

Why your idea is a “winner"?:

Vilnius-based Divaks is a fast-growing foodtech startup that develops insect protein solutions for the food industry. We focus on making tailor-made, high-quality insect protein solutions as a new protein alternative, bringing a sustainable and interesting approach to going animal-free in our diets. With a team of 10 employees, our commitment is to use environmentally friendly by-products from the local agriculture and food industry. Divaks was founded in 2020 and has raised €3 million so far.

What is your current or intended business/revenue model?:

We sincerely believe in mutually beneficial and long-term cooperation, not in fierce competition. We are not going to compete with the vast majority of insect protein producers. We see them as our partners. Our business model is based on the ability to produce high-value products and tailor-made solutions. A central role is given to internal and external R&D in the field of bioconversion and processing. Rearing, breeding, and flexible processing are supported by the best technology partners. Technical sales department consists of brilliant food technologists who work closely with clients' food technologists and Divaks food technologists

Do you have any Patent or IP registered (related to the solution that you are looking for an investment)?:

We have signed the Novel Food Dossier licensing agreement with Protix (https://protix.eu) to produce mealworm proteins for food applications.

Has your technology already been implemented in any field/sector?:

The technology is already being used by competitors, we are testing and developing new solutions in our pilot project in the areas of rearing and production, making tailor-made solutions

Which market and customer need(s)/problem(s) is (are) your products(s)/service(s) going to solve?:

The ever-growing need for traceable food from sustainable sources is opening opportunities for the creation of new companies such as Divaks in the field of alternative proteins to help respond to challenges posed by climate change, Covid-19, supply chain disruptions, and the war in Ukraine. Our goal is to create high-quality insect-derived ingredients for the food industry, that excel in nutritional and functional qualities.

Team members
Audrius Grusnis Chairman, Co-founder

25+ years in investment management and business development. Responsibility: Strategy, Business Development, HR, Fundraising, Capital Allocation. Master’s degree in Business Administration and Management from Vilnius Tech University

Kestutis Lipnickas CEO, Board Member, Co-founder

25+ years in business development, sales & marketing and management, Agrifood, FoodTech, AgriTech, ITT, Cybersecurity and Construction markets. Masters degree in Economics and Executive MBA

Trl
TRL 7 – system prototype demonstration in operational environmentTRL 8 – system complete and qualifiedTRL 9 – actual system proven in operational environment (competitive manufacturing in the case of key enabling technologies; or in space)
Candidate Overview

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