Have you ever wanted to own a tackle company…or even just a small part of a tackle company? I’m not talking about a tackle shop, where you sell fishing products. Many of you reading this are already in that position. You’re the critical connection between manufacturers or distributors and consumers. I’m talking about owning a company that designs and manufactures fishing products that are then distributed to retail shops and eventually sold to anglers all over the world.
For most of us, owning part of a tackle company has not been a practical option…until now.
A Band of Anglers, Inc., the company started by legendary tackle designer Patrick Sébile, is looking for investors. ABOA is the parent company of Engage (core gear lures), Hyperlastics (soft plastic lures), Ocean Born (saltwater baits), Spooltek (concealed leader lures), and Up ‘N’ Down (vertical lures). It’s also the official distributor of Xorus lures in the Americas.
Sébile and his partners will be using the online crowdfunding platform StartEngine to gather capital for their continuing efforts. The global pandemic, supply chain issues, and other challenges have presented stumbling blocks for ABOA—and nearly every other tackle manufacturer—but they report a bright future with plenty of inventory available for 2022.
If you’re involved in the fishing tackle world, or even if you’re simply an avid angler, you’re already familiar with Patrick Sébile. He’s one of the most accomplished anglers and decorated tackle designers in the history of our sport. The French-born tackle pro (now a U.S. citizen living in Florida) has been inventing and creating fishing products since he was just eight years old. He created Sébile Innovative Fishing in 2004 and sold the company to Pure Fishing in 2010, working for the tackle giant until just a few years ago.
Sébile’s creations have won 24 major industry awards (in the U.S., Europe, and Australia) and have sold tens of millions of units worldwide. In 2007, he accomplished what many believed could never be done. He “swept” the lure awards at ICAST that year, winning both Best Hard Lure and Best Soft Lure. More recently, his Hyperlastics Dartprop Pro SK won Best Freshwater Soft Lure at ICAST 2020.
His skills as an angler have naturally informed his talents as a tackle designer. Sébile has caught 783 different species of sportfish in 71 different countries. He holds or held 43 different IGFA world records. He has appeared on the cover of nearly 200 different fishing publications and been featured in over 1,000. He has hosted or appeared as a guest on more than 200 television fishing programs, written seven books on fishing and authored more than 800 magazine articles.
If you think of most celebrity anglers, their renown is usually limited to one country. Sébile is truly a worldwide angling and tackle design star.
“A Band of Anglers was born of the passion I have for fishing,” Sébile explains, “but it’s not just my company. It’s something I want to share with other like-minded people who love the sport. Opening it up to investors of all levels and from all over the world is a natural next step, and I’m very excited about where it will take us on this journey.”
To get there, ABOA has enlisted the online services of StartEngine.com, a crowdfunding platform offering public access to private investments—like ABOA. If you’re familiar with Kickstarter, you may know it’s a crowdfunding platform for creative projects that offers nonmonetary rewards. With Kickstarter, patrons get no equity in the efforts they support.
But StartEngine, which launched in 2015, is different. Patrons are actual investors and get equity in the projects.
Kevin (“Mr. Wonderful”) O’Leary, the well-known investor and star of the television program “Shark Tank,” is a shareholder in StartEngine and a strategic advisor to the company.
A Band of Anglers is valued at $7,790,000 in this crowdfunding round with individual shares at $5 and a $200 minimum investment. Investors can access the ABOA offering on the site right now.
You can learn more about this investment opportunity on StartEngine.com. The site contains lots of information about the company, including reasons to invest, the size and prospective health of the sportfishing market, the intellectual property behind some of Sébile’s designs, and more.
It obviously remains to be seen if crowdfunding will be the path to the kind of financing that ABOA seeks, but if it works, two things are certain. First, other companies will try it. Second, it will help to revolutionize the way we look at and think about equity and ownership in the fishing tackle market.
Extraordinarily well-funded private equity firms have changed the outdoors and tackle industries in recent years, starting with YETI. Those kinds of investments and ownership structures have led to impressive growth, but often with the goal of “flipping” or re-selling the company to another private equity firm in three to five years. Crowdfunding of the type sought by ABOA may be a route for financing the large-scale production of tackle and giving small investors a stake in the operation without replacing the leaders, founders, and principals that started it.
ABOA believes that crowdfunding is the future of industry financing. What’s more, they like the fact that their investors will be building the brand and growing the business every time they catch a fish on or recommend a product made by ABOA.