The Swedish social media for recreational fishing, Fishbrain, hopes to get its big break in the U.S. this year. The company sets out to go from 1.2 million users to 6 million.
At Breakit, we have written about Fishbrain mulitple times before. For example, we reported that the company raised $8 million from Northzone and Industrifonden, among others.
The company is expanding rapidly with the new capital, and has increased its workforce from eight to 23 employees over the last year. The user base grew by 131 percent over the same time period.
Johan Attby, founder and CEO of Fishbrain, has even higher ambitions for 2016.
“We need to reach a critical mass of users in one country to really get the word of mouth going. We want to reach 10 percent of anglers in the U.S. by the end of the year”, he says.
The U.S. has 60 million anglers in total. That means that Fishbrain needs to grow its user base by 500 percent, up from 1.2 million users, to reach its goal.
To reach the goal, the company is now turning its focus to marketing, in addition to the platform itself.
“We are going to do digital marketing mostly. Facebook ads convert really well for us. But we are at the point now where we have an actual company, not just an idea, so we are going to focus on building a strong brand as well”, Johan Attby says.
The brand building will be mainly focused on presence at fishing competitions and working with celebrities and professional anglers as influencers.
Even though the company is focusing on marketing, some of the capital will be be used product development as well, mainly the new premium service. Breakit has previously reported about Fishbrain’s launch of a premium service to increase its revenues. Johan Attby does not want to reveal exactly how it has performed since the launch in december, nor will he tell us exactly what is included in the service.
“We have a few thousand signups so far, but there is still a lot to evaluate. We are working out what services we want to put behind the pay wall”, Johan Attby says.
The main product that Fishbrain is charging its users for is fishing prognosis. In other words, where and when to catch the biggest specimen of different kinds of fish.
Fishbrain uses user data and a number of weather parameters, like air pressure, humidity and tides, to determine where, when and what bait one should use to optimize the chance of catching a big fish. All that number crunching is expected to be a part of the premium service.
“Last year we surpassed over 800.000 logged catches, so we finally have enough data to make good predictions. We are also working with machine learning and AI to optimize the prediction algorithms”, Johan Attby says.