Following the first tranche of €160 million in Series D funding announced in April, Ÿnsect, a leading company in insect production, is strengthening the company's leadership to support the expansion of its activities and strategic goals, notably by implementing a new executive committee organization. This is a long-envisaged and natural step towards Ynsect’s continued commitment to operational excellence.
With the support of Antoine Hubert, Shankar Krishnamoorthy–a former member of Engie's Executive Committee, who joined Ÿnsect in 2021 to lead international development and the construction of the Amiens site--has been appointed CEO of Ÿnsect.
Antoine Hubert, co-founder of Ÿnsect, is now focusing on innovation, science, influence and impact, in the roles of executive vice-president and CŸO. He remains a company representative and spokesperson for Ÿnsect. Hubert carries on supporting the CEO and CFO on investors relationships and fund raising.
‘’In 12 years, together with our shareholders and our teams, we have risen to immense challenges to make Ÿnsect a leading company in the production of insect proteins for food, pets and plants. Today, and while our flagship site in Amiens is achieving a major milestone in its start-up phase, Ÿnsect has reached a point that requires us to adapt our organisation. Therefore, I am handing over the operational reins of the company to Shankar, a seasoned professional that I fully trust and who has demonstrated his great qualities within Ÿnsect over the past two years, thus ensuring the best possible continuity for our teams and our stakeholders,’’ said Hubert, executive vice president and CŸO of Ÿnsect.
‘’I am honored by the trust the board has placed in me and am thrilled to lead Ÿnsect into its next stage of growth. I wish to thank Antoine for his dedication and commend his vision in launching Ÿnsect and in leading the company through its formative years. I look forward to working with all Ÿnsectors to tackle our challenges collectively and to relentlessly work to accomplish our mission," added Krishnamoorthy, CEO of Ÿnsect.
Ÿnsect’s operational management transition
‘’Ynsect is on the cusp of transitioning from a late-stage startup to a commercially viable company scaling up to meet its strategic objectives. At this important juncture of the company’s transition, the board of directors is pleased to appoint Shankar Krishnamoorthy as the CEO of Ynsect. Shankar has a proven track record as a CEO leading sustained, profitable growth in the competitive and challenging energy sector, has led culturally diverse teams across business development, technology and plant operations, finance and human resources and prior to Ÿnsect, was on the executive committee of ENGIE, a CAC 40 company,’’ added Hans Wackwitz, Ÿnsect board member. ‘’Shankar will take over from Antoine Hubert, who will continue at Ÿnsect lending his vision, abundant passion, expertise and experience to focus on advancing and advocating for Ÿnsect’s science, impact and influence. The board counts on Antoine to be the face of Ÿnsect and continuing to represent its strong values," he concluded.
As a scientist and environmental activist, Hubert co-founded Ÿnsect in 2011 with the ambition to make an active and concrete contribution to decarbonizing the food chain in the context of the climate emergency.
Over the past 12 years, he has been involved in every stage of the company's development, from the early stages of research to the construction of the world's largest vertical farm in Amiens. Under his leadership, Ÿnsect has become the world leader in the production of insect-based ingredients by deploying a strategy that is at once visionary, ambitious and operational.
Today, Ÿnsect boasts the largest intellectual property portfolio in this fledgling industry, with two research centers in France and the Netherlands, operates production sites in France and the United States, and has plans for new sites on every continent.
To further accelerate the company's development and make a real impact on the decarbonization of the global food supply, Hubert is handing over the operational management of Ÿnsect to Krishnamoorthy at a time when the Amiens site is passing a major milestone in its start-up phase and focus on the fundamentals at the heart of Ÿnsect’s DNA.
As executive vice-president and CŸO, Hubert will focus his energies on strengthening Ÿnsect's leadership in the key success factors of the insect industry. His new remit includes strategy, science, innovation, influence, IP and impact.
Krishnamoorthy joined Ÿnsect in 2021 after a career dedicated to leading international industrial projects. He had the opportunity to lead several commercial entities around the world before joining the executive committee of ENGIE, a world leader in the electricity and gas sectors, in 2017. As head of business development in Asia and CEO of the Middle East and Africa, Krishnamoorthy led the opening of new markets and the development of several multi-billion-dollar energy infrastructure projects to support Engie's international growth and participated in the IPO of Thai assets. Since 2014, he has worked in London and Paris in several senior roles, including strategy, research, engineering, construction, risk management and venture capital. Most recently, he was executive vice-president and COO of Ÿnsect, in charge of international development, engineering and manufacturing, including responsibility for the Amiens site, the largest vertical farm in the world.
A renewed board of directors
Following the closing of the first tranche of Series D funding and as Ÿnsect prepares to make its first deliveries of ingredients produced by the world's largest vertical farm in Amiens, the board of directors is evolving and welcoming new skills, necessary to implement the company's development strategy. Ÿnsect is therefore delighted to welcome:
- Eugenio Minvielle: Eugenio is an accomplished CEO with over 30 years of experience in the fast-moving consumer goods industry, spanning Europe, North America, South America and Asia. Notably, Minvielle is the president and founder of INNIT International and has held prestigious leadership roles, including president and CEO of Unilever North America, Nestle France, Nestle Mexico, Nestle Venezuela and COO of DEMB, a Sara Lee spin-off.
- Jean-Christophe Quémard: With 36 years' experience in the automotive industry at PSA/Stellantis--15 years at EXCOM in various positions covering the whole value chain. He was a member of the managing board for seven years.
- Hans Wackwitz: Wackwitz is the founder of Partners in Equity. After working 13 years at Bankers Trust Company and Paribas Capital Markets in New York, Dallas, Hong Kong and London, he joined Cobepa/PAI in 1993 in Brussels to build their private equity and venture capital portfolio in the Netherlands. He started Partners in Equity in 2003 and this Amsterdam-based family office has a focus on Impact investments in agri-tech, health care and education. Wackwitz has an MBA from Columbia University in NYC.
- Jean-Paul Lemonnier: Jean-Paul Lemonnier is the CEO of Peugeot Invest UK and the head of growth investments for Peugeot Invest, a long-term investment company, listed in Paris, and majority-owned by the Peugeot Family. He began his career in 2004 in the investment team of PAI partners in Paris, before joining Goldman Sachs in London in 2005, where he was part of the Principal Investment Area division, which oversees Goldam Sachs’ investment activities in private equity and growth capital.
- Eric Archambeau: Eric Archambeau is co-founder and partner at Astanor Ventures, a global impact investor that backs mission-driven entrepreneurs with disruptive, scalable technologies that put nature back into the heart of the agri-food system. Archambeau was among the first impact investors in Europe, founding multiple venture capital firms and supporting dozens of impact-driven companies along the way. The former Silicon Valley technology entrepreneur turned venture capitalist (App Annie, Betfair, Free Now, Onfido, Peakon, Spotify, Xing) was global chairman of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation and lectured at INSEAD, where he founded the Social Entrepreneurship Department.
- Gilles Schang: Gilles is deputy managing director of Bpifrance's Ecotechnologies, City of Tomorrow & French Tech Acceleration Cluster. He has been a technology venture capitalist for over 20 years. During this time, he held the positions of partner at Société Asset Management, and since 2012, deputy managing director of Bpifrance's Ecotechnologies, Ville de Demain and French Tech Accélération division (€800 million under management). Over the course of his career, Schang has carried out some thirty transactions in France and abroad and is currently a director of Axeleo, Ayro, Fermentalg, Ynsect, Vulog, Stanley Robotics, EasyMile, Sabella, Naïo Technologies and Tallano Technologies.
- François-Xavier de Thieulloy: François-Xavier is director of Expertise at Bpifrance. De Thieulloy has fifteen years' experience in industry (building materials and pharmaceuticals), as well as experience in consulting (BCG) and startups (AI for industry). He joins Bpifrance's support department in 2019 as an industry of the future expert, before heading support expertise on the themes of industry of the future, environment and industrial startups. De Thieulloy holds engineering degrees from the Ecole Polytechnique and the Technical University of Munich and an MBA from ESADE (Barcelona).