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Food and Beverages | Wednesday, January 13, 2021
ICA, a nonprofit venture capital fund, invests $200K of patient investment in sustainable insect snack maker Don Bugito.
FREMONT, CA: Don Bugito, the purveyor of planet-friendly protein snacks, is the recent high-growth small business to join the ICA investment portfolio. Founded by Monica Martinez, Don Bugito creates edible insect snacks inspired by Pre-Columbian Mexican cuisine. ICA closes a $200K investment in Don Bugito as part of its mission to scale great businesses to bridge the racial and gender wealth gaps.
Don Bugito, an industrial designer by training, saw an opportunity to address the increasing demand for sustainable protein while celebrating her cultural heritage. The firm champions the use of bugitos such as crickets and mealworms, combined with conventional spices found in Native American and Mexican cuisine. Today, Don Bugito's product line has Spicy Bugitos, Chile Lime Crickets, Granola Bites powered with insect protein powder, and baking flour made of insects.
ICA will provide Don Bugito the needed fuel to propel us to the next stage. With this investment, the company will grow its team, expand the farm operations, and increase sales nationally. 2020 was a hard year for everyone, but the company is thrilled to end the year with ICA's investment and looking forward to growing and expanding in 2021.
ICA's capital is part of the San Francisco Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. This partner investment fund collaborates with local Community Development Financial Institutions to implement capital to entrepreneurs of color, focusing on underinvested Latinx- and Black-owned businesses. ICA is thrilled to invest in founder entrepreneur Monica Martinez with $200,000 of patient investment to fund Don Bugito's ongoing development and expansion. When they get the capital and training they require, small firms like Monica's add new jobs and generate wealth for their owners and workers.
ICA's investment will enable Don Bugito to expand its farming operations and, eventually, meet Monica's complete vertical integration across the entire product portfolio. The insect market is widening rapidly due in large part to the sustainability of cultivating insect, which can be increased with limited natural resources and a relatively small environmental footprint,
Don Bugito aims to double its workforce in 2021 and presently employs a majority of people of color. Monica is committed to generating wealth-building opportunities in parallel with the company's growth.