Who are our main competitors?
Ahead of this section, it is important to state that, despite our never-ending search, there is still nobody attempting to rebuild the supply chain model from the boat level as we are at Pesky. Other than Kernow Sashimi, every other UK competitor, as well as international business we've monitored, continues to work within the existing supply chain model, where port markets are at the base of the chain.
With the USPs described below, we are in a unique position where our our competitors may soon become our customers as they look to source better quality fish directly from boats.
On the map above, we have identified our competitors against two attributes:
Customer Offering: Focus on always having stock vs Focus on quality and freshness
Progressive business model: Traditional wholesale model vs Tech enabled businesses
What is plainly obvious from first view of the map is that the business models employed in our industry are, with the odd exception, all very similar. Whether small or large, the majority of businesses are wholesalers - storing and trading fish to other merchants and restaurants.
Their objective is profit maximisation from trading up the chain - buying cheap and selling high, while maintaining a stock level to manage continuity for customers. As a result they are not incentivised to reward the fishermen more.
Our main competition to sell to restaurant (added value) customers, ranging from small scale to nationwide wholesalers:
Kernow Sashimi - Alongside Pesky, they are the best in the industry for quality. A collectives of 5 boats landing into Helston, selling all their catch directly to London restaurants customers. One of the main inspirations to Pesky in the early days, but limited in their desire and ability to expand outside of local area.
Hendersons - A well regarded one-man-band wholesaler, based out of Devon. Works from a very limited inventory, always sourcing and selling through availability in a day. Limited in his capacity and ambition to expand. Has already bought from Pesky boat's as one of the early customers in our marketplace.
Flying fish - A medium sized fish wholesaler based in the south west, buying from 4 port markets each day in Cornwall and Devon, as well as sourcing from across the country and the world to maintain their inventory. Reputation for good quality but high prices. A very profitable business as a result of the mark up they add to their fish. Alongside Wild Harbour, most of our customers come to us having worked with Flying Fish previously.
Wild Harbour - Once a great business, made up of small scale fishermen, they have now sought expansion by using the supply of fish landed onto South-West markets. This has helped develop their business at the expense of reputation. Once our greatest competition but fading away in the market.
Fish for Thought - A medium sized fish wholesaler who have targeted the medium-low end of the market to attract volume through the business. Have a very good B2C home delivery offering, but little threat to restaurant trade.
M&J Seafood- 2nd largest of the UK wholesalers who have expanded through acquisition of existing English fish merchants to give them a national presence. Heavily import based but do source from local port markets on East Coast and Scotland.
Best executions outside of the UK?
Procsea - a B2B platform that enables merchants and fish farms to sell their inventory to fishmongers and restaurants. Expanded into France and Switzerland and looking to brand out into UK. Some great execution in terms of tech but limited as long term threat given they don’t work directly with boats. In addition, they have succeeded to date given their first mover advantage in this part of the chain. However, they have limited defensibility against the threat of a direct competitor platform who may have a larger network and able to offer a smaller fee. Our platform could sell a better quality, cheaper to their customers, directly from the fishermen, usurping the need to use Procsea. That being said, if they were to scale quicker than Pesky, they could look to go further back the chain - another reason why we must maintain the advantage of speed and make all parts of the chain dependent on our infrastructure.
Coastline - A similar B2B platform to Procsea, based in Canada. Unlike Procsea, they source from producers across the world, focussing the majority of their proposition on cost efficiency rather than traceability or supply chain efficiency.
Sea2Table - a US based family business working to link domestic buyers to domestic landings through their web platform. Having evolved from a port based market selling whole fish, they have now expanded so that 80% of their trade comes from high quality blast frozen wholesale. We maintain a good relationship with them, having been advised by their CEO, Sean Dimin, throughout the last 2 years.
Pesky USPs vs competitive set
While there are hundreds more companies in this very fragmented and archaic competitor set, Pesky maintains specific USPs that will see us drive rapid participation from both boats and buyers:
Industry infrastructure, not just a platform - As a result of positioning ourselves as the base of the chain by partnering or replacing the existing port auction companies, boats and buyers will become dependent on Pesky's infrastructure for their daily requirements.
Enable buyers to source directly with boats, not markets - It's impossible to source fresher fish than when you buy it directly from the boats. Every customer will have this experience through Pesky, as opposed to buying from a merchant's inventory.
Forecasting - By working directly with the boats, we can provide an accurate forecast of what is going to be freshly available vs competition. This will become one of our greatest assets to help our customers make informed, efficient buying decisions.
Our focus - We want to rebuild the world’s chain from scratch, rather than evolving within it. We therefore have the advantage of focussing on driving participation rather than exclusively short-term profit maximisation - ensuring we are always focussed on adding value to the boats and customers we serve.