Dutch seaweed company secures further investment

By Jane Byrne contact

- Last updated on GMT

TSC farm, Clew Bay, Ireland © The Seaweed Company
TSC farm, Clew Bay, Ireland © The Seaweed Company

Related tags: seaweed, piglets, broilers, dairy cows

Belgian business, the Colruyt Group, is expanding its minority interest in The Seaweed Company to 21%. The retail group was already a shareholder in the Dutch startup.

Founded in 2018, The Seaweed Company (TSC) produces seaweed at its own farms in Ireland, Morocco, India, and the Netherlands. Its portfolio includes seaweed derived products such as animal feed supplements for swine and poultry, cattle, companion animals and equine sectors, health supplements and food applications as well as biostimulants for use in crop production.  

The funds from the Colruyt Group, the third and largest investment to date for TSC, will be used to significantly scale up production in the coming years. 

#3-Brown seaweed Alaria cultivated (Ireland)
Brown seaweed © The Seaweed Company

“Colruyt was the sole investor in this third round. We have agreed not to disclose the investment amount. This round could be qualified in investment terms as our series A financing, after the first two seed and early stage investment rounds,”​ Wouter Zwagemakers, chief commercial officer (CCO), TSC, told us.

The startup is looking to make agricultural chains, from crop production to livestock and fish farming, more sustainable. 

Zwagemakers said TSC has executed a variety of field trials with farmers and industry over the past two years. “This is a core and important element of our product development strategy. Our R&D science team that develops our products and coordinates the trial phase has extensive experience in marine biology/seaweed applications (Dr Stefan Kraan), crop science (Dr Anubhav Mohiley) and human/animal immunology (Prof Dr Theo Niewold).”

R&D trials

In relation to monogastrics, the company has been running trials in broilers, piglets, and weaned pigs, in the Netherlands.

Since June 2021, it has been collaborating with farmers in the Province of Gelderland in the Netherlands on a joint innovation project, under the name of ‘Blue Farming’. That initiative is set to finish up at end of this year and is looking to validate the use of the company’s seaweed supplements in terms of agricultural soil regeneration, along with improved dairy cow performance and health translated as higher output and better quality milk, enhanced cow health and well-being and an improved methane footprint.

It has also conducted a trial with dairy cows in Ireland and a study with calves in Germany.

Looking to its seaweed harvesting, drying, and processing methods, the CCO said the startup is continuously working on improving the cost-effectiveness of its production and processing operations. “We have developed a supply chain of commercially scalable seaweed biomass products. The exact production, processing steps and costs involved depend on the location of our cultivation operations.”

Final product manufacturing for its animal feed and biostimulant products currently takes place in the Netherlands, at GMP+ certified facilities.

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