Swedish startup Hooked, a graduate of the fourth cohort of the ProVeg Incubator, announces the launch of the first Swedish plant-based tuna, called Toona, in restaurants nationwide from next spring. This follows a recent raise of SEK 5 million in capital, around $600K.
In October, the young brand received its first investment of €150,000 to launch in the Nordics with plans for later expansion into Europe. Its goal is to convert as many people as possible to plant-based seafood alternatives, to address the issue that global seafood consumption has increased by 120% since 1990, one-third of global fish stocks today are overfished, and the majority is fully exploited.
Hooked’s products will roll out into major restaurant chains in 2021 starting with Sweden. Co-founder Tom Johansson comments today, “The food system represents 25% of total global greenhouse gas emissions, and has significant environmental impacts. The production of fish is no exception, where overfishing threatens marine ecosystems and fish farms are so maximized and dense that farmers often need to use pesticides to keep their farms clean.
“We’re seeing many positive examples of attempts to grow fish sustainably, but it’s not enough to meet the rapidly growing consumption. We have to change the way in which we produce and consume seafood, for the climate and for our own health. We don’t believe in lecturing and bans, but by developing innovative solutions, and by building a positive movement that people want to join. Each and every person should have the ability to save our oceans by enjoying a delicious, nutritious plant-based fish in their local restaurant.”
Hooked Toona contains natural and sustainably grown ingredients such as soybeans, sunflower oil, and algae. Product development takes place in Gothenburg, in collaboration with leading research institutes in the area.
The list of new investors include the Norwegian accelerator Katapult Ocean, Wave Ventures of Finland, and PlusCap, the investment company founded and run by former NHL pro athlete Mattias Weinhandl. ProVeg contributes global know-how and capital, in collaboration with the mission-driven VC firm Veg Capital led by Matthew Glover.
“Hooked is an impact-driven and solution-oriented team with innovative and delicious products. The potential for plant-based seafood is massive and Hooked has the capability to be one of the leaders in this space in the future. We are proud to be part of their journey to drive a more sustainable seafood consumption, and happy they chose us as one of their investors in this round,” says Albrecht Wolfmeyer of ProVeg.