Golden Valley start-up selling fishing tackle and gear hooks Investments of $2.1 million


The rapid growth of Omnia Fishing, an online fishing tackle and tackle retailer, has attracted interest from anglers and funding from venture capitalists.

The Golden Valley-based startup was co-founded in 2018 by Matt Johnson, Dan Wick, and Chris Morgal.

The website tells users what gear and tackle is appropriate for the lake they plan to fish, said Johnson, the company’s chief executive.

“It’s contextual consumer education,” Johnson said.

The company recently received $2.1 million in funding to develop the e-commerce site and inventory management system.

The tackle industry is dominated by big-box retailers who increasingly sell and promote their own private label products. As a result, there are now fewer mom-and-pop paraphernalia stores.

With this change, anglers are losing some of the tips and tricks that can be gleaned from local tackle stores, Johnson said.

Fishing lakes have different fish populations, fish densities, lake clarity, depths, and seasonal patterns, depending on their location.

Omnia Fishing helps guide anglers through these variables by normalizing huge amounts of data on 70,000 lakes across the country gathered from state departments of natural resources, other outside sources, their own list of brand and information ambassadors on the lakes.

“We call this lakefront boutique concept,” Johnson said. “We have an algorithm that takes those details…then recommends techniques, then refines that down to the product level.”

Omnia Fishing offers approximately 9,000 products from 100 brands from its 10,000 square foot warehouse in Golden Valley. “Our goal is to be at 20,000 products in 2021,” Johnson said.

There are plenty of anglers who don’t need or want this advice. Omnia aims to provide anglers with a top-notch e-commerce experience.

“E-commerce businesses are data businesses these days,” Johnson said. “We’re definitely a data company that sells products with the content we’ve created.”

Last year, Omnia’s revenue was 400% higher than in 2019, which was its first full year. In 2020, the company demonstrated that it could scale its business model and proved that the technology was solid.

“We had tailwinds from COVID just because people were looking for solutions online. It kind of proved our model pretty quickly,” Johnson said. “Our total sales target is around 300% year-over-year growth in 2021. But we are currently tracking around 500% year-over-year growth in January and February.”

The rapid growth has helped them attract additional investors.

Omnia Fishing had raised $2.5 million in the previous two rounds and still had capital in the bank and was not actively seeking new funding.

“It was an inbound investment,” Johnson said. “Our plan was to fundraise over the summer and that allowed us to fundraise quickly and get back to work.”

Johnson expects to get 18 to 24 months of runway with this latest round of funding, assuming growth plans don’t ramp up significantly. The company has 10 employees and is hiring more.

The $2.1 million funding was led by Founder Collective and Dundee Venture Capital with participation from GAN Ventures, Sioux Falls Angels, Southeast Minnesota Capital Fund, Ralph Castner and Daren Cotter.

Bread & Butter Ventures, the Minneapolis-based venture capital firm of Brett Brohl, Mary Grove and Stephanie Rich, also participated in the current round.

Since its inception, Bread & Butter has invested in 10 Minnesota companies.

“The fishing industry is poised for continued growth nationwide, and we believe Minnesota – and Omnia Fishing in particular – is well positioned to lead the way in leveraging technology and the e-commerce to modernize the experience,” said Grove, Bread and Butter. partner. “We’ve known Matt and the Omnia team for years, and I can’t think of a better team or place to build this from.”

Currently, Omnia’s biggest constraints are supply chain issues with some overseas suppliers and the ability to stock products as quickly as possible.

The influx of cash will help manage the growth of the business.

“It’s just been a frantic race over the past two years to stock as much as we can, as fast as we can, and to keep up with consumer growth,” Johnson said. “It was great and that [latest fundraising] going to be really helpful.”

Patrick Kennedy • 612-673-7926


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