Seafood giant Thai Union Group has announced an investment in the Israel-based biotechnology company ViAqua Therapeutics, which develops RNA-based solutions to improve animal health in aquaculture.
Through the investment, made via Thai Union's venture fund, the company will join other strategic and financial partners in backing the start-up.
Thai Union's group strategy director, Patrick Bertalanffy, stated, "With the investment in ViAqua, we are expanding the scope of our venture activities into the adjacent area of biotechnology. We are looking forward to exploring more opportunities in that space in the future."
ViAqua's first product is a feed supplement for enhanced health management in shrimps, including prevalent and devastating diseases which pose significant challenges and are widespread in the species.
'A Primary Concern'
Thiraphong Chansiri, president and CEO of Thai Union, said, "Disease prevention is a primary concern in the aquaculture sector and ViAqua has a promising technology platform to help manage the health of shrimp and other species. Thai Union is looking forward to supporting ViAqua as they help the global aquaculture industry address this challenge."
Thai Union's venture fund focuses its investments on three strategic areas: alternative protein, functional nutrition, and biotechnology, as well as new technologies along the food value chain.
The John West parent added that it invests in early-stage entrepreneurial companies operating in these areas and will actively partner with companies to support and accelerate their development.
Shai Ufaz, CEO of ViAqua, commented, "We are honoured and thrilled to add Thai Union, a leading seafood company, to our team of investors. Thai Union's firm foundations, entrepreneurial spirit, and deep understanding of the food industry are a great fit for our goals and values."
Last month, Thai Union Group acquired the remaining 49% shares of Rügen Fisch AG (Rügen Fisch), a company headquartered in north-eastern Germany.