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Seaweed startup secures funding from Japan’s Nissui Corporation

Australian seaaweed startup secures funding from Japan's Nissui Corporation

Australian seaweed startup Immersion Group has secured a funding injection from Nissui Corporation, a prominent Japanese seafood company, to accelerate the production of Asparagopsis, a native red seaweed, and drive the company’s growth.

Proceeds from the investment, of undisclosed value, will be used to construct a new onshore Asparagopsis production facility near Geelong in Victoria and are expected to create up to 30 new jobs.

Nissui Corporation CEO Shingo Hamada said the investment was important to capitalise on the growing momentum behind the red seaweed as a methane-reducing feed additive for ruminant livestock. 

“We see an incredible opportunity to produce Asparagopsis, targeting premium beef markets in Australia and Japan,” explained Hamada.

“Nissui’s existing marketing and distribution channels present an opportunity to develop a global Asparagopsis brand with Immersion Group, capable of servicing markets worldwide.”

Last year, the Japanese company achieved US$8 billion in revenue.

Scot Elliot, CEO at Immersion Group, added the investment would allow the company to rapidly scale its propriety onshore production technique for the Asparagopsis and move into other geolocations worldwide. 

“There are 1 billion cattle in the world, and to have a cornerstone investor and strategic partner in Nissui puts us at the forefront of servicing this unheralded demand,” said Elliot.

“Immersion Group was founded on a simple premise: we didn’t want to be the biggest Asparagopsis producer immediately, but we did want to be the best.”

Asparagopsis from the production plant will be directed into supplying trials in Australia and Japan. The proposed onshore plant will complement Immersion Group’s existing operations in Portarlington and Queenscliff on Victoria’s Bellarine Peninsula and Perth in WA.

Further reading: Grill’d launches ‘world’s most sustainable beef burger’ – with seaweed.

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