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E-commerce innovator secures $2.1m to fund expansion


Omnia Fishing, the online retail start-up that helps anglers buy tackle based on where they fish, has raised a $2.1 million round of venture capital.

The Golden Valley, Minnesota, company saw 400% year-on-year growth in 2020 and is on course for an even higher increase this year. The latest funding is led by Massachusetts-based Founder Collective and Dundee Venture Capital, Omaha.

Omnia founder and CEO, Matt Johnson, said last year’s growth was partly because the company expanded the number of products it sells to over 9,000 and ships to 50 states. “We will grow to around 25,000 products soon,” he says. “We’re hoping for a year-over-year growth rate of 550% in 2021.” 

Omnia has nine employees and will use some of the new funding to hire another five. The company has also expanded throughout the country by partnering with local tackle brands that can provide localised information to customers.

Other participants in the venture capital round include local investors, Bread and Butter Ventures, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund and angel investor, Darren Cotter, as well as Sioux Falls Angels, GAN Ventures and former Bass Pro Shops CFO, Ralph Castner.

“It’s a great vote of confidence from some serious investors,” Johnson said. “Founder Collective, for example, was an early investor in Uber.” 

Fishing has been slow to adopt e-commerce compared to some industries, but that trend has been on an upward curve in recent years and has received a massive boost during COVID, with consumers finding it an easy and safe way to buy their gear.

Omnia’s ‘shop-by-lake’ proposition matches tackle with seasons, conditions and fisheries data. “Customers only see products that are most relevant to them at the time of year they are shopping,” added Johnson.

Omnia raised $1.5 million in 2020 and previously raised $1 million to get its site off the ground in 2018.

Main picture. Omnia founders (left to right): Matt Johnson, Dan Wick and Chris Morgal.

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