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  • Portfolio News
  • 22 July 2015
  • 26 min read
  • Words: Northzone

FishBrain closes $8m A-round to accelerate growth in the US and launch in Japan

FishBrain (www.fishbrain.com), the world’s largest social network and app for anglers, has closed a $8 million Series A funding round, led by Northzone (the Stockholm and NY-headquartered investor in Spotify).

Tokyo-based Recruit Strategic Partners No.6, LLC and New York-based Novel TMT Ventures are new investors in FishBrain, and existing investors, Industrifonden, Active Venture Partners, GP Bullhound, and Edastra Venture Capital have also participated in this round.

Already the largest app of its type, the investment will be used, in part, to establish a US office and further develop FishBrain’s growing presence in the US, as well as officially launching FishBrain in Japan.

With 1 million users, FishBrain offers unique support to participants in the world’s biggest hobby: sport fishing. User engagement is high, with FishBrain users having reeled-in and logged enough catches in the app to stretch over 1,192 American football fields – a haul that weighs more than two Boeing 747 jumbo jets. 60 million anglers in the US also spend $48 billion annually on bait, tackle and gear, according to the American Sportfishing Association – more than three times the global spending on recorded music each year.

Available on iOS and Android, the free-to-use FishBrain app is the fastest, and easiest way to log fishing activity and help anglers worldwide catch more (and bigger) fish. Since launching in 2013, the app’s user base has been growing rapidly and is now an essential tool for anglers in countries such as its native Sweden, the US, Canada, Australia, and the UK.

Johan Attby, CEO & co-founder of FishBrain, comments: “Closing this funding round signals an important moment for FishBrain in terms of our international growth and ambitions. With 1 million users worldwide, the continued development of the product and associated community is our first priority, and, as it is already our largest and fastest-growing market, the US is our focus in terms of expansion. We are delighted to continue working with our existing investors and welcome the experience and expertise of the new ones in supporting our mission of bringing FishBrain to more anglers in the US and across the world, as well as launching FishBrain in Japan.”

Tim He, Investment Manager at Northzone, comments: “FishBrain’s momentum as the number one deep social community for anglers, one of the largest hobbies in the world, is further driving the contextualisation of the social web. We are excited about continuing to support the team’s mission of providing an unparalleled product experience to all the passionate anglers around the world.”

Per Anell, Investment Manager at Industrifonden says, ”Johan and his team have made a remarkable effort in growing FishBrain to its market leading position. We are happy to follow-up on our seed-investment made in 2013 and boost FishBrain even further to make a true impact in the sportfishing industry.”

About FishBrain

With 1 million users, FishBrain is the world’s biggest and fastest-growing social network and app for the world’s biggest hobby: sport fishing.

FishBrain helps anglers across the world catch more and bigger fish through the revolutionary FishBrain Forecast feature, which was developed in partnership with world-renowned scientists in Complex Dynamical Systems & Artificial Intelligence, helps anglers by predicting the optimal time, place and bait to catch particular species of fish in any given location using meteorological information and crowd-sourced data in a unique algorithm. Users can also upgrade to a Premium Account for $4.99 per month or $39.99 annually, which allows deeper insight and personal analysis to help improve an angler’s performance.

In 2014, FishBrain closed a $2.5m funding round lead by Northzone and Active Venture Partners. FishBrain has also achieved widespread recognition, having won several awards including Slush in Helsinki in 2012, MTGx Google Glass Hackthaon in San Francisco in 2013 and Seedcamp Berlin in 2013.

Johan Attby, CEO of FishBrain, is an experienced serial entrepreneur, and previously founded Tific, a software company which was acquired by technology services solutions company PlumChoice, Inc. in 2011. He was awarded “Founder of the Year” in Sweden in 2015 by Nordic Startup Awards.

About Northzone

Northzone is a technology investment partnership. With four offices and ten investment professionals, Northzone’s focus is on disruptive companies tackling challenging problems in attractive markets. Founded in 1996, Northzone has to date raised seven funds and invested in some 100 technology-enabled companies. The current portfolio includes companies such as Spotify, Avito.ru, Trustpilot, WideSpace and SpaceApe. The company has offices in London, Stockholm, Oslo, Copenhagen and New York. www.northzone.com

About Recruit Strategic Partners

Founded in 1960, Recruit Holdings is a leading information services and human resources company in Japan. Through a wide range of services, Recruit is focused on variety of areas, including employment, education, housing, marriage, travel, restaurants, beauty, cars, hobbies, and lifestyles. Recruit Holdings’ funding has been made through its investment subsidiary Recruit Strategic Partners (RSP) Fund, LLC. Recruit has more than 30,000 employees and operates in Asia and North America. Its holdings include Indeed, the world’s largest job site. For more information visit www.recruit-rgf.com

About Novel TMT Ventures

Novel TMT is the global technology & media investment group of Silas Chou and his family. The firm focuses on investing in innovative products and services to improve consumer experiences and efficiencies in commerce, media and payment. Novel TMT’s investments include Farfetch, INTURN, Warby Parker, Loop, Fitstar, Predict Spring, Wish, Spring, Delivery Hero, PMC and Skrill.

About ACTIVE Venture Partners

ACTIVE is a European venture capital company focused on positively disrupting its traditional sector. Spearheaded by a diverse, passionate and multinational team, it is building a reputation for providing support that goes beyond capital for high growth businesses. With a presence in Barcelona, Hamburg and Stockholm, ACTIVE targets entrepreneurial teams driving digital start-ups and seeking holistic partnerships based on shared values and pro-active support. Start-up founders connect to the unique ACTIVE community to engage with sector specialists, growth experts and senior advisors. Since 2004 ACTIVE has invested in 23 companies in two funds totalling EURO 74m. In 2007, ACTIVE created the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation, which promotes relationships between successful serial entrepreneurs investing in early stage companies. www.active-vp.com

About GP Bullhound

GP Bullhound is an international technology investment banking group with offices in London, San Francisco, Stockholm, Berlin and Manchester, which has served companies and their founders and investors since 1999. The firm provides advice on mergers & acquisitions and private/public placement as well as research and asset management to a diverse range of corporate clients, institutional investors and high net worth individuals. www.gpbullhound.com

About Edastra Venture Capital

Edastra is a Stockholm-based venture capital company with a strong belief in the evolution of the internet. Edastra invests in companies within mobile, internet and consumer electronics. Founded in 2008 by venture capitalist and entrepreneur Robert Ahldin, Edastra provides intellectual capital and equity to help building great companies. www.edastra.com

About Industrifonden

Industrifonden is one of Sweden’s largest and most experienced venture capital investors in early-stage growth companies. The company is a professional partner with strong capital resources and a long-term approach, serving as an active owner together with entrepreneurs and other investors. Industrifonden’s driving force is to build lasting value and successful companies. www.industrifonden.se/en


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