And now, we interrupt our regularly scheduled programming of mobile and social startups to bring you an urgent and breaking news announcement: a bass fishing startup.
Mystery Tackle Box, which launched last week, is an online subscription service that sends customers 3-5 unique lures per month. Customers can sign up for month-to-month for $15 per, or commit to three, six or twelve months with lowering prices down to $13.75 per month. With around 200 subscriptions, the company has generated $3,000 in revenue in their first week with little to no marketing.
Why is it important? CEO Jeremy Gwynne and advisor Ross Gordon quickly pull out the stats, excitedly explaining that it’s a $45 billion dollar industry (that’s 45 Instagrams!!) with over 40 million fishers in the U.S. alone. But scores of others have tried to target the very same market and failed. Can Mystery Tackle Box penetrate this top-heavy market, dominated by giants like Bass Pro Shops and Dick’s Sporting Goods?
The company is the brainchild of Gordon, founder of Craftjack and Tribe9 Interactive. Growing up fishing in Minnesota, Gordon says he came up with a lot of great ideas while on the water, one of which was Mystery Tackle Box.
“I asked myself, what type of service would I want to use?” he explains. “Fishing is something I don’t have a lot of time to devote to. There are hundreds of products out there to use and I don’t know which to use.”
Mystery Tackle Box’s video, which really gets awesome around 0:56 .
Gordon started building out Facebook pages for various, specific interests and finding ways to monetize them. His “Bass Fishing Favorites” page attracted 80,000 likes and he realized he could drive traffic to Mystery Tackle Box from there.
But Gordon is too busy with his other companies to run Mystery Tackle Box and needs to be limited to an advisory role. He found the perfect CEO in Gwynne, a lifelong angler who started fishing in Florida at five years old, who had a technical background and management experience from years at a large IT consulting firm.
“With any startup there’s a huge risk in jumping on board,” Gwynne tells me. “I weighed my options. I’ve been a bit burnt out in the IT consulting world. Fishing is my passion so it felt like a good fit.”
Gordon says they eventually hope to exit by being acquired by one of the bigger retail-side players in the industry, like Bass Pro Shops or Dick’s.
Reel in. Did you get that one?