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In Ovo raises 34 million to stop the killing of day-old male chicks

Dutch scale-up In Ovo, a spin-off of Leiden University, has raised 34 million euros to accelerate its international growth and scale-up plans. The new funding is supported by Leiden University’s Libertatis Ergo Holding. The funding has also been provided by, among others, impact investors ECBF and ABN AMRO. It also includes follow-up investments by shareholder Evonik and VisVires New Protein and an extra investment by technology partner Demcon.

In Ovo was founded in 2013 with one goal: to put an end to the mass culling of male chicks. Every year, 6.5 billion male chicks are killed in the global poultry industry because they do not lay eggs. Traditionally chicks are manually sorted by sex immediately after hatching and the male chicks are killed. In Ovo has developed a screening machine: Ella. This machine can determine the sex of eggs at an early stage. This enables hatcheries to hatch only female chicks, which means the males do not have to be culled on an economic and industrial scale. Ella means a huge step forward in animal welfare and sustainability in the poultry industry.

The growth funding for In Ovo comes at a turning point in the market. An increasing number of countries are making chick culling illegal, while in many others pressure is mounting from customers, retailers, regulators and NGOs as well as the sector itself. In Ovo is already working with early adopters, and this new funding will enable it to offer the Ella solution on markets across Europe and beyond.

Rob Mayfield, Managing Director of Libertatis Ergo Holding, Leiden University: ‘We’re really pleased that Wil, Wouter and the whole In Ovo team have reached this exciting milestone in their ambitious journey from a university start-up to an international scale-up, with an enormous impact potential for both animal welfare and emissions reduction.

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