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Industry Highlight - The Titans of Seafood 🔱

Industry Highlight - The Titans of Seafood 🔱
May 26, 2021

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Good morning! I’m writing from the beautiful Bodega Bay of California, 70 miles north of San Francisco, where yesterday I dined on oysters in a scene so picturesque I had to laugh when a couple paddled up on their kayaks for a cold beer and fresh fish. Today we look at the booming industry in private fisheries, supplying ocean delights for us land-based humans.


                                        Fishetarian Fish Market, Bodega Bay, CA


The Seascape

The U.S. seafood market is worth $9.7BN, with salmon the #2 most-consumed seafood item (trailing shrimp). For comparison, the pork industry is worth $19.8BN, and the cattle industry is valued at $76.4BN. The major players in the industry compete for dollars spent in supermarkets, accounting for 56% of seafood consumption, and restaurants, making up another 35% of consumption. These companies, based primarily out of Seattle and Alaska, operate in another world than Silicon Valley where they attain “unicorn” status from pure revenue.


Aquaculture or au naturale?

Farmed fishing now makes up 50% of all fish consumed. The difference of course is between fish caught out in open seas, the old-fashioned way, and captive fish being fed controlled diets of – perhaps ironically – wild fish. It can take up to 5 lbs. of wild-caught fish to produce 1 lb. of farm-raised salmon. Due to increased consumer demand for health benefits derived from fish oil, 88% of fish oil derived from less valuable wild-caught species, such as anchoveta and sardine, go to farmed fish.


Big fish eats little fish: acquisitions in private fisheries

  • Trident Seafoods has earned an impressive $6.6BN valuation, showing the power of slow growth from its inception in Seattle, WA in 1973 to the present.  

  • OBS Smoked & Distribution (formerly Ocean Beauty) recently merged with Icicle Seafoods in an attempt to compete with Trident Seafoods.

  • OBI Seafoods LLC is the spinoff result of the OBS & Icicles merger. OBI brings fisheries, canneries, and customers together out of its HQ in Seattle.

  • New Wave Foods is the vegan alternative in the industry, getting its only source of sea food from seaweed. The company is based out of Stamford, CT and raised an $18MM Round A in January from New Enterprise Associates, among others. 

Next week we’ll look at privately held breweries, for the perfect seafood summer pairing. Email your favorites to or tweet us @PrivCo.

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Growing green
The vertical farm startup Bowery Farming raises $300MM.
Since last week, PrivCo has added:

503 Companies | 248 Funding Activities | 119 M&A Deals

Funding & Deal Highlights:


Educative raises $12MM from Matrix Partners 

EdTech Software & Internet Services • Round A • Bellevue, WA

InSite Telecom raises from Ranch Creek Partners

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Software & Internet Services • Equity • Lewes, DE

Zeta Help raises $250MM from Softbank

Fintech Software & Internet Services • Round C • San Francisco, CA

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Cloud Software & Internet Services • Round C • San Francisco, CA

Relief Labs raises $20MM from Bessemer Venture Partners & The Founders Fund

Telehealth Software & Internet Services • Round A • New York, NY

Curebase raises $15MM from GGV Capital 

Research Software & Internet Services • Round A • Walnut, CA

National Basketball Association raises from Helios Investment Partners

Entertainment • Equity • New York, NY

Bowery Farming raises $300MM from Fidelity Management & Research Company

Agricultural Products • Round C • New York, NY

HomeSquare Holdings acquires Seaport Electric

Specialized Consumer Services • Acquisition • Norwalk, CT

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Sensor Tower acquires Pathmatics 

Adtech Software & Internet Services • Acquisition • Santa Monica, CA

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