Catch Co. raised $38 million in Series B funding late last week in partnership with True Ventures and Tech Nexus. The capital will help the Midwest-based company expand its operations, improve its offerings, and diversify the shopping experience for U.S. anglers — those who fish with a hook and a line.
This latest round of funding brings the total amount of money Catch Co. has raised to $56 million since its launch in 2012.
In less than a decade, the company successfully expanded beyond its initial subscription offering, Mystery Tackle Box, to become a full-blown e-commerce store with original video content and various products designed to make fishing a more immersive and fun experience.
Read on to learn how Catch Co. used subscription to grow its business and become a household name for anglers across the country.
Investing in Operations to Sustain Growth
The investment — led by True Ventures — will help Catch Co.’s quest to help U.S. anglers get the most out of their hobby through unique products and content.
“Catch Co. has perfectly positioned itself as a must-have for passionate anglers across the U.S.,” said True Ventures’ Co-Founder Jon Callaghan in a press release last week. “We’re thrilled to partner with [Catch Co.] as they grow the brand and expand the sportfishing industry in new and creative ways.”
More than three million people picked up fishing as a hobby during the pandemic, according to the Recreational Boating & Fishing Foundation, which meant more demand for CEO Ross Gordon’s company. The $38 million will primarily be used to expand and invest in Catch Co.’s workforce, according to the press release.
The company is currently employing 65 people, with roughly 20 openings for new positions. Gordon says that another dozen jobs will be made available in the future, with Catch Co’s e-commerce store Karl’s Bait & Tackle expected to test brick-and-mortar stores soon.
“We were running lean before, but there is going to be uncertainty in demand in the next 12 months as we see where behaviors settle,” he told Crunchbase News. “We have been on a path of evolution since 2012 and will continue to operate through the lens of improving accessibility to fishing gear.”
From Subscription Box to E-Commerce Store
Gordon wanted to make fishing simple and less intimidating. He came up with a monthly subscription box idea that would help fishing enthusiasts like himself learn while enjoying different types of fishing products and tutorials.
Nearly a decade later, Gordon successfully turned his monthly subscription box into an e-commerce store called Karl’s Bait & Tackle. The company now has several lines of products, including an original video series called Uncharted, fishing equipment available online, and its original Mystery Tackle Box that has sold more than 5 million units to date. Subscribers describe the box as “Christmas every month,” according to the company.
In 2019, Catch Co. partnered with Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart to sell its subscription box and make it more widely available. So far, more than 5.2 million boxes have been sold across the country, according to the company’s website.
“Customers are still buying fishing items the day of a fishing trip, so we needed the placement of products where they can access that,” Gordon told Crunchbase News.
Catch Co. started expanding beyond the monthly subscription offering and developed an original video series — Unchartered — that follows the journeys of fishing influencers in different locations.
The video series was a hit on YouTube and helped Catch Co. accumulate more than 42,000 subscribers on the platform. It’s not the only social network the fishing company is successful with, either. Catch Co. has more than 142,000 followers on Instagram. Its subscription box account, @mysterytacklebox, has close to 750,000 followers and its e-commerce store has more than 270,000 followers.
Catch Co. successfully enhances the fishing lifestyle through new product offerings, a subscription business model, and a growing library of original content. It paid off in 2020, with the company recording a 100% year-over-year growth compared to 2019, according to its press release.
With new fundings to expand its workforce and its various projects, 2021 could be just as profitable for Catch Co.
“I could not be more excited to partner with True Ventures in helping us realize our purpose of rescuing people from the indoors,” Gordon said. “Their passion for the outdoors and ability to help amazing companies scale were both clear from our very first conversation.”
- Catch Co. secured a $38 million investment from True Ventures and Tech Nexus to expand its operations, offerings and improve the shopping experience for U.S. anglers.
- The company expanded from a subscription box offering to a full-blown e-commerce store and a popular YouTube Channel.
- More than 3 million people picked up fishing as a hobby during the coronavirus pandemic.