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Google Ventures backs $23M funding round of Scottish startup combating global seafood waste

Rooser, a global seafood marketplace based in Edinburgh, has raised $23 million in Series A funding. The financing round was led by Index Ventures (the leading VC that also recently invested in Linktree and Typeform). further, Google Ventures and Point Nine Capital also participated in the round.

The Scottish startup’s existing angel investors include Dylan Field, co-founder and CEO of Figma, the multibillion-dollar design software company; and David Nothacker, co-founder and CEO of Sennder, the freight and cargo company, participated in the round.

The company claims to transform the way fish makes its way from the boat to the table. With the investment, it will advance its mission of eliminating seafood waste and improving the transparency of the complex fish supply chain. The financing has come at a time when demand for fish is soaring due to the rise of the global middle class and there is a greater focus on healthy diets.

Currently, the startup focuses on building its marketplace and stock management software for primary processors. It is in plans to use the data on its platform to generate meaningful insights, models and reports for users.

“The seafood market is huge, but it’s fragmented and mostly offline,” said Georgia Stevenson, the Index partner who led the investment. “Rooser promises to make the whole experience simpler and more efficient for everyone in the value chain – improving margins, reducing waste, giving buyers greater choice and sellers a bigger market. The Rooser team have lived and breathed seafood for years, and they have an intuitive sense of how to help their customers. We believe they are uniquely placed to succeed in this exciting space.”

How was Rooser born?

Rooser was founded in 2019 by Joel Watt, a serial seafood entrepreneur, Nicolas Desormeaux, a seasoned commercial fish buyer and seller, Erez Mathan, former COO and CRO of GoCardless and Chief Technology Officer Thomas Quiroga, founder of the digital agency beyondr.io.

The idea for Rooser came about when co-founder Watt decided to launch a fish processing plant with his cousin in Scotland, remortgaging their parents’ houses in order to obtain the starting capital. Having run a seafood business, he experienced how laborious and challenging it was to be a player in the fish supply chain.

“The seafood industry is like this giant machine, with all these gears turning all the time at breakneck speed,” said Joel Watt, CEO of Rooser. “I saw the chaos for myself. Rooser was what we hacked together to solve the problem for our factory, and we realised the opportunity when other processors started wanting the software for themselves. In the long run, what we’re building should help us to understand and manage global fish stocks more responsibly, to see where our seafood comes from and to ensure the best-quality produce ends up on our plates.”

Reducing seafood waste

As per reports, for every two fish that makes it to a diner’s plate, one goes to waste. Rooser reduces friction for seafood buyers and sellers by combining stock management, a sales tool and access to a real-time, online marketplace. Suppliers can use Rooser’s cloud-based software tool Sea.Store to manage their fish stocks and upload the price and profile of different fish to a personalised online store and its wider digital market.

Via this single point of access, sellers gain the ability to manage and sell to their existing customers, faster and for free. Also, they can access new buyers, much more than traditional methods. In turn, buyers can search and transact through the platform, filtering by species, fishing area, method, delivery time and quality score.

By connecting seafood buyers and suppliers, Rooser transforms the way fish moves through the seafood chain. The company provides innovative tools to manage, price and trade fish more efficiently and transparently, thereby reducing seafood waste and improving margins across the sector.

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