Australian Seaweed Startup Gets Backing From Japanese Seafood Giant

Victoria-based seaweed technology business the Immersion Group has welcomed a cornerstone investment from Japan’s Nissui Corporation to accelerate the production of the native red seaweed Asparagopsis.

Proceeds from the investment will be directed into the construction of a new onshore Asparagopsis production plant near Geelong in Victoria, expected to create up to 30 new jobs. Financial details of the investment have not been made public.

Nissui Corporation chief executive Shingo Hamada said the investment was an important step for the company to capitalise on the growing momentum behind Asparagopsis 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”.

Hamada added that the investment would facilitate the expansion of a new seaweed division at Nissui.

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

Japan-based Nissui Corporation was the second-largest seafood producer globally in 2022 based on revenues of US$8 billion.

Immersion Group CEO Scott Elliott said the Nissui investment would allow Immersion Group to rapidly scale the company’s patented onshore production technique for Asparagopsis and move into other geographies globally.

“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.”

“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.”