As a sport fishing hobbyist, you are constantly searching for that next impressive catch. Watching the faces of others turn green in envy can be just as satisfying as receiving nice comments, improve your skills and trade tips and tricks with other with fishing interest. Well, now there is an app out there combining the best of both these side of the coin. Add some serious data analysis features, and you might have what could be considered the ultimate platform for anglers. It is time to get acquainted with the company FishBrain and get fascinated by how data driven approaches constantly find new ways to trickle into our daily lives.
Simply described, FishBrain is a mobile application and social network for anglers. We are all familiar with the stereotypic picture of fishing hobbyists being famous for their bragging, especially inside their own community. They generally want to feel appreciated for their accomplishments among likeminded people, so posting the catches on regular social networks (for people who might not really care or “get it”) has apparently not been satisfactory to many active sport fishers. However, FishBrain does not only provide the opportunity to brag about catches but also have many serious aspects of data analytics tied to the application, which we will get to soon. The venture was formed by a former researcher in mathematics, Johan Attby, and co-developed with two other partners that previously ran an online fishing community. The firm was founded in Sweden back in 2010, and since the application was released in 2013 things have been taking off very rapidly.
The Sydney Morning Herald boldly claims that the sport of fishing may be about to experience its biggest revolution in nearly 90 years thanks to the FishBrain application. What makes FishBrain receive statements of such dignity? Well, the truth is that it all comes down to the successful creation of a niche platform leveraged by data utilization. TechCrunch writes that the company uses crowdsourced data from its community to generate forecasts that help anglers figure out when, where and which bait to use to best catch a particular fish species. The application cross-references the gathered user data with things like geological and meteorological data, which could include location, wind speed and direction, air humidity, temperature, lunar data and so on. Of course, FishBrain also lets anglers log their fishing trips and catches and share them with the rest of the community. As an example, CEO Johan Attby tells Tech.eu:
“We look at the five-day future weather forecast and then correlate it between similar situations and similar locations for a particular species. Of course, we can’t give you any guarantees, but we can definitely increase the probability for you to catch a big fish of a particular species”
Moreover, it turns out that the target market can only be described with one word: enormous. According to Nordic Startup Bits, the market for social sport fishing consists of more than 500 million users worldwide. In the U.S. alone there are 40 million active sport fishermen, which make the market bigger than golf and tennis combined. Bloomberg reports that U.S. anglers spend $48 billion annually on their hobby, a number three times larger than global recorded music sales. When numbers like these are being thrown around, one can only congratulate FishBrain and its founders for creating their own opportunity in this un-digitalized blue ocean market of fishing hobbyists. The best part for FishBrain is of course that their offering is increasingly gathering traction in this huge market as, for instance, VentureBeat reports that the platform just caught its 700,000th user in mid-February.
The FishBrain app is free for download, but the company has also been in the works of launching a premium version to increase revenue and give more valuable features to the anglers. Upgrading to a premium account provides a more granular performance analysis for users, and they get access to more services generated from the large amounts of user-generated and environmental data.