Gathered Foods, the parent company of plant-based tuna brand Good Catch Foods, has reeled in US$26.35 million in a bridge financing round. The fresh capital will go towards expanding Good Catch’s retail footprint globally and launching more plant-based seafood products on the market to meet rising consumer demand.
Gathered Foods, the makers behind the Good Catch brand of plant-based tuna, has secured $26.35 million in a Series B-2 bridge funding round, the firm announced on Wednesday (April 7). The round saw participation from the venture capital arm of global agricultural trading firm Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC), Unovis Asset Management and Big Idea Ventures (BIV), as well as other undisclosed investors.
The capital injection will go towards Gathered Foods’ plan to double down on international retail expansion of its Good Catch plant-based seafood products, starting with roll outs in more European countries, before entering other global markets later in 2021. Currently, Good Catch products are available across the U.S., Canada, U.K. and in the Netherlands and Spain.
The latest investment comes after its US$36.8 million Series B, which went towards building the firm’s massive 42,500 square foot plant-based production facility in Ohio. Opened in August last year, the manufacturing plant is dedicated to producing Good Catch’s range of vegan seafood products to meet skyrocketing demand amid the pandemic.
As demand for plant-based seafood continues to rise, we look forward to further collaboration with LDC to create breakthrough opportunities.Christine Mei, CEO, Gathered Foods
Since its inception in 2016, Good Catch has launched a number of plant-based seafood products, including fish-free tuna pouches, plant-based crab cakes, Thai-style fish cakes and classic vegan fish burgers, which are made from peas, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, fava beans, navy beans and algae extracts.
Gathered Foods described its bridge funding as the latest example of “global confidence in the ever-growing plant-based seafood sector”, following the celebrity endorsements and financial backing the brand has received from big names like Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley and Paris Hilton.
LDC’s global reach, supply chain management, R&D capabilities and procurement expertise will be key to Gathered Foods’ ability to broaden its global footprint.Chris Kerr, Co-Founder & Executive Chairman, Gathered Foods
Commenting on the round, CEO of Gathered Foods Christine Mei said: “We are excited to have this important investment by LDC, a well-respected leader in the agricultural, food and ingredients space, to help fuel growth and expansion.”
“Partnering with proven companies who are innovators in their own right can only sharpen our ability to positively disrupt a nascent industry with our innovative portfolio of Good Catch products. As demand for plant-based seafood continues to rise, we look forward to further collaboration with LDC to create breakthrough opportunities.”
Chris Kerr, co-founder and executive chairman of Gathered Foods, added: “LDC’s global reach, supply chain management, R&D capabilities and procurement expertise will be key to Gathered Foods’ ability to broaden its global footprint and bring new building blocks to our expanding portfolio of offerings.”
Good Catch has previously entered into an agreement with canned tuna giant Bumble Bee Foods, in what was the first-ever partnership between an established seafood brand and a plant-based company.
“We are thrilled to partner with the company, as it expands the reach of its Good Catch brand and attracts new customers to this fast-growing sector,” said Max Clegg, head of LDC Innovations, the corporate venture capital program under LDC.
While still a niche sector, competition in the plant-based seafood space is quickly heating up as the rising number of vegan and flexitarian consumers look for more diversified options in alternative proteins.
Taking the lead alongside Good Catch are number of young food techs including plant-based tuna and eel startup Ocean Hugger Foods, vegan shrimp makers New Wave Foods and Hooked Foods who have developed fish-free tuna, as well as established players like Nestlé and European plant protein supplier Schouten having launched their own vegan tuna analogues.
All images courtesy of Good Catch Foods.