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Used by more than 14 million anglers worldwide, Fishbrain helps deliver the best possible fishing experience to every angler – whether beginner or pro. The platform provides users with the tools, insights, and support they need to fully enjoy one of the world’s most popular hobbies.
Fishbrain is disrupting an industry that has remained traditional, not only making fishing more accessible but also levelling the playing field for the growing numbers of women, minorities, and young people looking to take up the sport.
Now raising on Seedrs, they have already reached their target of £1M and are in overfunding. We sat down with the founder Johan Attby to get to know more about his path to creating Fishbrain.
We’d love to know about your careers before Fishbrain and where you first found that entrepreneurial spark.
I began my career in academia with a masters in mathematics and physics and started a PhD in AI after that. While doing that I saw some professors having started companies based on their research which I thought was pretty cool so I thought I could do the same. Turned out I couldn’t… It was the end of my career in academia but the company I started did great. I scaled it in Silicon Valley and the company got acquired by a US company and I’ve been an entrepreneur, investor, advisor and board member since then.
What is Fishbrain and what problem are you solving?
Fishbrain is a community and platform for people that love fishing. Sport fishing is huge, only in the US 55 million people fish every year and they spend a whopping $50bn doing so. We connect anglers so they can share their experience with like minded and our unique utility features help them land their dream catches.
What motivated you to start Fishbrain?
I love nerds and nerds don’t get the engagement and features they deserve on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok or YouTube. There are app/platforms and vertical communities growing really big now like Strava for cyclists, Vivino for wine lovers, and Alltrails for hikers and I wanted to build one for the biggest hobby – sport fishing. Silicon Valley investor Andreessen Horowitz calls these growing communities Social+.
What can you tell us about the market and how Fishbrain is positioning themselves for success?
Sport fishing is a massive global market. By spending it is the biggest hobby in the US who spend a whopping $50billion doing so. We are already the no 1. community in the US with over 10 million registered users and now we are investing in our product and partnership to make it even more valuable for anglers.
What does your competitive landscape look like and how does Fishbrain differentiate itself?
As mentioned we’re already #1 in the US with quite some margin. Our focus now isn’t on competition but to continue to build our service so it becomes even more valuable for anglers. Our ambition is to make it so good that all 55 million Americans use it every time they swing their rods. And after that expand globally.
Could you tell us about some of your biggest achievements to date?
I’m very proud having built a service that is used by more than a million anglers every month. No one has managed to do this in the sport fishing industry before. I’m also very proud that we partner up with researchers and agencies around conservation and where our huge and rapidly growing sport fishing data actively contributes to sustainable fishing.
How do you plan to create a scalable and profitable business model?
Our business is 100% digital and therefore totally scalable. Our biggest revenue stream is our subscription which has fantastic gross margin as what we put behind our paywall is access to crowdsourced data so we don’t have the cost for content like Spotify or Netflix. Our unit economics has been positive the last few years and we are on track to become profitable.
On our marketplace where anglers buy their fishing gear we take a commission on the sales we generate. We don’t take any inventory ourselves which makes this business line 100% scalable too.
What do you plan to do with the money you raise?
We will continue to scale and get more users in the US and with a focus of becoming profitable. After we hit profitability we will start expanding outside the US.
Aside from fishing, what do you love to do in your free time?
I love the outdoors in general, not just fishing, and I really like being out in nature with my family. I was a competitive road cyclist when I was younger but now I’ve switched to mountain biking. I think that’s the perfect combination of getting exercise and being out in nature at the same time. When Covid hit I started to play the piano. I could never believe it would be so hard. Still suck at it but I’m not giving up!
If you weren’t building Fishbrain, what do you think you’d be doing?
I’d still be an entrepreneur for sure. I love building companies! I have more ideas but you only have the bandwidth to execute on one at a time (unless you’re Elon Musk I guess…). It’d be something that can make a positive impact on the world. That matters more to me every day and I’m so happy to see that we are able to contribute to that through Fishbrain.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt so far building Fishbrain?
Focus! There’s always a gazillion things you want to do and so many opportunities and it’s so easy to jump at too many at the same time and fail with all of them. It’s very hard to say no as a founder but that’s a key skill. Our vision is to become the platform for everything sport fishing but the way to get there is to do a limited amount of new things in parallel and do them really well. Also be humble in that there is no recipe for success, we are doing things no one has done before. Some of the things we do won’t work and that’s perfectly fine as long as we keep velocity and keep testing things. Some things will work and then we double down on them.
Fishbrain has raised over €1m and are overfunding. Fishbrain is a great opportunity to invest in a company who are passionate about the outdoors. Join their mission to make fishing dreams come true, today and tomorrow. Check out the pitch here.