PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Fishpeople Seafood, a mission-driven brand leader in sustainable and traceable seafood, announced today that it has closed a $12 million Series B financing round with a lead investment from Advantage Capital Agribusiness Partners (“ACAP”). 3x5 Partners, a longstanding partner of Fishpeople, continues its investment in the company, along with additional funds from a premier group of leading sustainability-focused investors including S2G Ventures, Encourage Capital, Blueberry Ventures and Collaborative Fund. Together, these groups round out a highly respected and experienced set of funds at the epicenter of investing in innovative, disruptive brands with the shared goal of driving the food & beverage industry to a healthier, more sustainability-driven future.
In its relentless quest to champion and preserve the ocean and the local fishing communities it serves, Fishpeople, a certified “B” Corporation, works with proud, small-scale fishermen to catch only abundant species of fish and ensure consumers have access to the highest quality, best tasting seafood in its sustainably-sourced Seafood Kits, fillets and soups. With the additional capital raised, Fishpeople intends to expand distribution of its consumer product lines available in retail grocery stores as well as its newly available “for chefs” line of foodservice options, fuel product innovation to make great seafood available to consumers in a broader array of product formats, drive brand awareness, and meet consumers’ increasing demand for transparently-sourced seafood.
“When I joined Fishpeople in 2015, I was inspired by our founders’ uncompromising commitment to evolve the seafood industry to do better and do right by consumers, fishermen and the oceans,” stated Ken Plasse, CEO of Fishpeople. “We are thrilled to have found such a unique group of mission-aligned, respected investors that focus on companies disrupting the food and beverage space with forward-thinking tactics, a focus on product and food system innovations, and a strong commitment to sustainability. As we continue to lead the charge in transparent seafood products that consumers can trust, we are excited to receive this round of funding that supports the resources necessary to accelerate growth and continue to disrupt and elevate the seafood industry.”
“When we heard about Fishpeople, we knew we needed to get involved with this company. The seafood industry is one of the last to see meaningful improvements in product quality or sustainability, so we are excited to work with a group of people that is so dedicated to providing better options and full traceability for consumers,” said Tyler Mayoras, Principal of ACAP, which is dedicated to growing rural U.S. economies by funding transformational food and agriculture companies in areas including sustainable agriculture, water conservation and the better-for-you food space.
S2G Ventures, a multi-stage venture fund that invests in forward-thinking food and agriculture companies whose products and services meet the shifting demands for healthy, sustainable and local food, is excited to be part of the investment group as well, said Chuck Templeton. “Working with Fishpeople to help them expand their product mix and continue to make waves in the industry aligns perfectly with our strategy at S2G. Their commitment to bettering the entire seafood industry is inspiring.”
Fellow “B” Corporation and Portland-based investment firm 3x5 Partners, an existing investor, enthusiastically renewed their commitment with Managing Director Nicholas Walrod stating, “We are deeply committed to preserving the resources that future generations are going to need. 3x5 is happy to back companies like Fishpeople that serve the needs of consumers while benefiting the planet and those who live and depend on it.”
Jason Scott of Encourage Capital shared, “We know that solving problems, like restoring and protecting fisheries, requires systemic solutions. Along with our partner Zoma Capital, we look forward to accelerating the growth of Fishpeople’s integrated 'water to plate' approach, which involves its commitment to sustainably sourcing, producing and delivering the highest quality seafood to its consumers. Fishpeople has a proven track record of building productive relationships with fishers and developing innovative products that are profitable and have deep impact in improving fisheries, fishing communities and people’s health. We are confident that this investment will help Fishpeople expand its sustainable seafood sourcing from the fishing communities of the Pacific Northwest to the rest of the United States and beyond.” Encourage is investing in vertically integrated sustainable seafood companies, with a focus on Latin America.
The additional funding will enable the brand to continue its journey to become the most trusted name in seafood by furthering the company’s growth and pioneering new product developments, all while passionately adhering to its unwavering commitment to consumers and fishermen as a market and thought leader in the sustainable seafood space. Their most recent new product debut, a lineup of Wildly Delicious Seafood Kits, made quite a splash earlier this year at the Seafood Expo North America (SENA), receiving the Seafood Excellence Award for “Best New Retail Product.” Fishpeople products are currently available in Whole Foods, Safeway/Albertsons, and more than 5,000 natural and conventional grocers nationwide, with additional retail growth planned through 2017. For more information about Fishpeople, visit fishpeopleseafood.com.
About Fishpeople Seafood
The world doesn’t need another seafood company; it needs a different seafood company. Founded in Portland, Oregon, in 2012 with the mission of changing consumers’ relationship with the sea, Fishpeople delivers pure, sustainable, traceable fish direct from proud, small-scale fishermen. Fishpeople passionately believes that the story behind your fish matters. They know that where it comes from, how it’s caught, and the way it’s handled are what makes their fish so wildly delicious. Their entire process is intentional, and you can taste the difference. As a Certified “B” Corporation, they believe in relentless transparency and consider people, planet and profit in every decision they make by being committed to supporting undervalued species, coastal communities and protecting ocean habitats. Fishpeople’s consumer products are available in more than 5,000 natural and conventional grocers as well as club stores nationwide, and their “for chefs” line of next generation fresh & frozen foodservice solutions is currently available to restaurants and foodservice operators on the West Coast. For more information about the brand and updates on new product offerings, visit fishpeopleseafood.com or follow Fishpeople on Facebook (@fishpeopleseafood), Instagram (@fishpeople_seafood) and Twitter (@fishpeoples).