Good Catch Foods, the vegan seafood brand set to launch next year, has announced the closing of an $8.7 million Series A funding round to further its product development and launch.
Funding came from key players in the organic and natural food industry: New Crop Capital led the investment. Online member-based natural food retailer, Thrive Market, supported the round as did Fresh Direct, Stray Dog Capital, Blue Horizon, EverHope Capital, Baleine & Bjorn Capital, M13, and Starlight Ventures. But the funding also included a notable contribution from leading European poultry producer, PHW Group, which recently partnered with California-based Beyond Meat to bring its vegan Beyond Burgers to Europe.
“The equity investment in Good Catch is evidence of our forward-thinking strategy. Good Catch is consistent with our pursuit to provide the U.S. with sustainable, clean foods – we do not see this transaction as a financial investment but rather as the beginning of a long-term strategic partnership,” Paul Wesjohann, of PHW Group, said in a statement.
Good Catch has created a wave of excitement over its vegan tuna and crab products before they've hit the market. The non-GMO brand was born out of the BeyondBrands family along with New Crop Capital's leadership and the culinary direction of chef brothers Chad and Derek Sarno of the blog and cookbook Wicked Healthy. The former Whole Foods Market chefs are also behind the popular Wicked Kitchen range of vegan ready-meals at the UK's leading supermarket, Tesco.
The vegan seafood products look and taste just like their oceanic counterparts without the fish but with a bit of help from an actual seafood: algal oil. The products are based in a six-bean blend including pea protein, soy, chickpeas, lentils, fava, and navy beans.
The company says its early success is indicative of the change happening within the food system at large as more consumers seek out alternative proteins that are better for their body, the planet, and the animals.
"Good Catch is launching at a critical moment, tapping into the food-tech zeitgeist with a line of culinary-driven, fish-free seafood as the world braces for the collapse of global fisheries before 2050," the group said.
At present, nearly 90 percent of the world's large predatory fish stocks are depleted, yet the oceans still serve as the world's largest source of protein; nearly half of the world's population rely on fish or seafood as their primary protein source.
But the global fishing and seafood industries are devastating marine populations pushing a number of species to the brink of extinction.
“The relentless and indiscriminate killing of marine life is devastating ocean ecosystems,” Good Catch co-founders and co-CEOs Chris Kerr and Eric Schnell said.
Marine populations face a number of other threats beyond fishing including plastic pollution, climate change, and ocean acidification -- a byproduct of the massive terrestrial protein production from industrial agriculture.
“The only truly sustainable seafood is seafood that allows fish to remain in the ocean," said Kerr and Schnell. "It is abundantly clear that we need a new approach to seafood. Importantly, this is a global concern and we need global stakeholders to put this approach into action; time is not on our side.”
Good Catch Foods expects its products to be in the marketplace by 2019.
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