Golden Valley start-up sells fishing gear and hooks for $ 2.1 million in investment
The rapid growth of Omnia Fishing, an online retailer of fishing gear and gear, has attracted interest from fishermen and funding from venture capital firms.
The Golden Valley-based startup was co-founded in 2018 by Matt Johnson, Dan Wick and Chris Morgal.
The site explains to users what gear and material are appropriate for the lake they plan to fish, said Johnson, chief executive of the company.
âIt’s contextual consumer education,â Johnson said.
The company recently received $ 2.1 million in funding to develop the e-commerce site and inventory management system.
The fishing tackle industry is dominated by big box retailers who increasingly sell and promote their own private label products. As a result, there are now fewer moms and dads stores.
With the change, anglers are losing some of the tips and tricks that can be gleaned from local hardware stores, Johnson said.
Fishing lakes have different fish populations, fish densities, lake clarity, depths, and seasonal patterns, depending on their location.
Omnia Fishing helps guide anglers through these variables by normalizing huge amounts of data on 70,000 lakes across the country, collected from state natural resource departments, other outside sources, on their own. list of brand ambassadors and information on the lakes.
âWe call this concept store by lake,â Johnson said. “We have an algorithm that takes these detailsâ¦ and then recommends techniques, then refines that down to the product level.”
Omnia Fishing offers approximately 9,000 products from 100 brands in its 10,000 square foot warehouse in Golden Valley. âOur goal is to be at 20,000 products by 2021,â Johnson said.
There are a lot of fishermen who do not need or want this advice. Omnia aims to serve these fishermen with top notch e-commerce experience.
âEcommerce companies are data companies these days,â Johnson said. âWe’re definitely a data company that sells products with the content we’ve created. “
Last year Omnia’s revenue was 400% higher than 2019, which was its first full year. In 2020, the company demonstrated that it can evolve its business model and proved that the technology is sound.
âWe had favorable winds of COVID just because people were looking for solutions online. It kind of proved our model pretty quickly,â Johnson said. “Our total sales target is about 300% year-over-year growth in 2021. But we are currently tracking about 500% year-over-year growth in January and February.”
The rapid growth has helped them attract additional investors.
Omnia fishing had raised $ 2.5 million in two previous rounds and still had capital in the bank and was not actively seeking new funding.
âIt was an inbound investment,â Johnson said. “Our plan was to fundraise during the summer and that allowed us to fundraise quickly and get back to work.”
Johnson expects to get 18-24 months of track with this latest round of funding, assuming growth plans don’t accelerate significantly. The company has 10 employees and is adding more.
The $ 2.1 million financing was led by Founder Collective and Dundee Venture Capital with participation from GAN Ventures, Sioux Falls Angels, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, Ralph Castner and Daren Cotter.
Bread & Butter Ventures, the Minneapolis-based venture capital firm of Brett Brohl, Mary Grove and Stephanie Rich, also participated in the current round.
Since its inception, Bread & Butter has invested in 10 Minnesota companies.
âThe fishing industry is poised for continued growth nationwide, and we believe Minnesota – and Omnia Fishing in particular – is well positioned to lead the way in leveraging technology and e-commerce to modernize the experience, âsaid Grove, director of Bread and Butter. partner. “We’ve known Matt and the Omnia team for years, and I can’t think of a better team or a better place to build this from.”
Right now, Omnia’s biggest constraints are supply chain issues with some overseas suppliers and the ability to stock products as quickly as possible.
The influx of cash will help manage the growth of the business.
âIt’s been a mad rush over the past two years to store as much as possible, as fast as possible, and keep up with consumer growth,â Johnson said. “It was great and that [latest fundraising] is going to be really helpful. “
Patrick Kennedy â¢ 612-673-7926