Gathered Foods, the makers of the plant-based tuna brand Good Catch, has just announced an impressive line-up of celebrities that have recently invested in the company. Among them are Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass. The celebrity investments follow the startup’s recent successful funding round that drew in big names including multinational food giant General Mills.
Good Catch recently announced an undisclosed amount of investment from celebrities Woody Harrelson, Shailene Woodley, Paris Hilton and Lance Bass. This investment is in addition to the capital secured from previous funding rounds, including its latest Series B that attracted plant-based company Greenleaf Foods and FMCG giant General Mills’ venture 301 Inc.
The round took plant-based tuna brand’s total funding to at least US$50.7 million, according to data from Crunchbase.
Founded in 2016, Good Catch uses its proprietary blend of peas, chickpeas, soybeans, lentils, fava beans and navy beans as well as seaweed and algae extracts to develop its line of 100% plant-based tuna products. The company is headquartered in Newtown, Pennsylvania in the United States, and its products are currently available in around 4,500 retail outlets, stateside and in the United Kingdom.
With the capital, the brand hopes to be able to expand its international distribution capacity, targeting markets in Asia, North America and Europe. Earlier in March, the startup partnered with canned tuna giant Bumble Bee Foods to enter these consumer markets.
According to MarketWatch, the global canned tuna market was worth a whopping US$10.78 billion in 2018, and is expected to grow by nearly 4% each year to reach US$14.1 billion by 2024.
Much of the demand will come from Asia, where the appetite for seafood is quickly growing. As detailed in the Asia Alternative Protein Industry Report, Asian consumers will be responsible for 73% of the increase in global seafood intake by 2030, presenting a key opportunity and need for the sustainable protein solutions to disrupt the market.
To meet the demand, seafood supply chains are placing a huge burden on the planet, with one Reuters report estimating that greenhouse gas emissions from the industry will jump from 2.9 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent to 5.4 billion tonnes each year. Aside from seafood’s carbon footprint, the industry is also responsible for enormous amounts of plastic pollution and marine ecosystem destruction, primarily due to discarded fishing ghost nets.
Like the conventional livestock industry, traditional seafood farming additionally suffers from rampant health and safety issues. Not only mired in traceability problems, with many seafood products on the market mislabeled, seafood production in China is currently battling the spread of Div1 shrimp virus disease in cramped aquaculture pens.
Aside from Good Catch, a number of other startups are also working to produce sustainable seafood solutions to consumers. San Francisco-based startup Prime Roots, for instance, has created a plant-based salmon burger out of fungi and algae, and has raised US$4.5 million in seed funding.
Meanwhile, entrepreneurs in Asia are looking to use cellular agriculture technology to produce sustainable seafood in labs that are customised to suit regional tastes. While Singapore-based Shiok Meats is creating lab-grown shrimp, Hong Kong’s Avant Meats is cultivating the highly-prized and in-demand traditional Chinese delicacy, fish maw.
Lead image courtesy of Good Catch.