Today Gathered Foods, makers of Good Catch plant-based seafood, announced it has closed a $32 million Series B round. Led by Stray Dog Capital and Rocana Ventures, other participants included Greenleaf Foods, New Crop Capital, Almanac Investments, CPT Capital and 301 INC (the venture arm of General Mills).
Good Catch’s plant-based tuna — made with 6 different plant proteins and algal oil — is currently available at 4,500 retail locations in the U.S., including Whole Foods. It will be moving into the U.K. market over the next few weeks.
This Series B builds on a $10 million convertible note round that Gathered Foods closed back in June 2019. Combined with its $8.7 million Series A, which it announced in August 2018, the New York-based startup has raised just under $41 million.
According to a press release, the net proceeds from the investment will go towards expanding Good Catch’s retail footprint across North America and Europe, as well as a push into Asia. The company will also use its fresh capital to develop new products — like the line of frozen entrées and vegan “crab” cakes it had previously teased for release later this year.
Just after news of the convertible note broke last year, Chris Kerr, co-founder and CEO of Gathered Foods, told NOSH that their upcoming larger round would include a “game changing” new investor.
That’s got to be 301 INC. The Good Catch investment is not the CPG giant’s first foray into the plant-based marketplace. 301 INC has already invested in Kite Hill, maker of animal-free dairy products, and vegan protein bar startup no cow. They were also an early investor in a little old company called Beyond Meat.
301 INC’s investment in Gathered Food certainly beefs up the CPG giant’s plant-based portfolio. It could also offer significant benefits to Good Catch; the startup will be able to leverage General Mills’ manufacturing expertise, R&D resources and retail relationships to accelerate new product development and gain placement on more grocery shelves.
Alternative seafood will also have the chance to play a larger role as fish stocks dwindle due to overfishing and the rise of ocean mercury levels. Good Catch isn’t the only one trying to get ahead of the curve. Sophie’s Kitchen makes vegan canned tuna and Ocean Hugger Foods turns tomatoes and eggplant into plant-based raw fish for sushi (and is also sold at Whole Foods). Back in September, New Wave Foods, which makes ‘shrimp’ from plants, snagged an investment from Tyson.
The rising investor interest in seafood alternatives mirrors consumers’ rising demand for plant-based everything. While grocery shelves are filling up with meatless burgers, hot dogs, and soon, ground pork, vegan seafood is an area that still has relatively few players — and lots of room for improvement. With this Series B round — and especially General Mills’ participation — Good Catch just got a significant leg — er, fin — up.