Over €140 billion worth of fish is traded within Europe every year, with 35,000 different types of items changing hands between a patchwork of around 140,000 businesses. The market is split between multiple fisheries, primary processors, wholesalers, and end-users such as restaurants, supermarkets and fishmongers.
The communication and trading that takes place among these players is incredibly high-paced and stressful coupled with added time pressure to sell before the fish goes off. This results in a volatile, high-volume, network-driven market with its uncertain supply, opaque pricing and offline trading, it’s not dissimilar to how financial markets used to operate before centralised and digital trading.
Consequently, for every two fish that makes it to a diner’s plate, one goes to waste. As food waste becomes one of the biggest waste streams in today's world and the food industry pushes towards zero food waste, a Scotland-based seafood marketplace is transforming the way fish makes its way from the boat to table. The Edinburgh-headquartered Rooser has raised $23 million in funding to eliminate seafood waste. The Series A round was led by Index Ventures and witnessed the participation of GV and Point Nine Capital.
Founded in 2019 by Joel Watt, Nicolas Desormeaux, Erez Mathan and Thomas Quiroga, the platform is reducing 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, as well as to upload the price and profile of different fish to a personalised online store and its wider digital market. With a single point of access, sellers gain the ability to manage and sell to their existing customers, faster and for free, as well as to access new buyers – many more than would be possible through traditional methods.
The company is currently trading fish across 13 different countries, performing quality checks for both buyers and sellers to allow greater accountability, higher quality produce and faster payments.
Going forward, it will launch 7-day payments for suppliers, ensuring timely completion of transactions this month.
Joel Watt, co-founder and CEO said: “The seafood industry is like this giant machine, with all these gears turning all the time at breakneck speed. 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.”
Georgia Stevenson, partner, Index said: “The seafood market is huge, but it’s fragmented and mostly offline. 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.”