Russian technology company Fishmagnet’s unique electronic fish bait is attracting interest across Europe. To tackle the growing demand the company has opened its first European sales office in Finland.
Fishmagnet was established in 2006 to develop electronic fishing products and has since grown into a 30 person strong company. Now the time is right for the company to boost its internationalisation through opening its first office outside Russia: a European sales office in Lahti, Southern Finland.
Fishmagnet’s growth plans are based in its patented electronic fish bait, ‘Fishmagnet-2’, which the company claims is unique.
— All known ways of attracting fish affect only one of a fish’s natural senses at a time. But Fishmagnet-2 allures fish by influencing three senses simultaneously: sight, hearing and sensitivity to vibration, explains Oleg Nikolaev, CEO of Fishmagnet.
The Finland office, which was opened in December, will act as the main channel for the company’s sales in Europe. Currently the electronic bait is on sale in Russia, Kazakhstan and Belarus with a growing number of retail and wholesale buyers in the EU, including Germany, Spain and France.
Initially Fishmagnet’s Finland office has employed one sales manager but the company has plans for expansion.
— At the second stage, we plan to also have production of our electronic bait in Finland which means we will also recruit more people, says Nikolaev.
Sound, noise and vibration
How the Fishmagnet-2 works is by generating three types of stimulant: sound, vibration and light.
Sound comes from the bait in low-frequency waves which can carry up to 900 meters in fresh water and 1,100 metres in salty water. Vibration alerts a fish’s lateral line, a system of sense organs which detect movement and thirdly the bait has a light emitting diode which blinks periodically. This is effective for night fishing or rapids where noise and vibration can be cancelled out.
The rechargeable electronic bait, which comes in six different feature variations, is especially beneficial in luring fish from long distances. Fishmagnet claims it can attract fish from remote parts of reservoirs to the bait.
— This combination of an unique electronic device and an effective fish bait has caused lots of interest. It’s targeted at everyone from amateur and sports fishers to commercial fishing, says Nikolaev.
Landing in Finland
Finland wasn’t the only option for Fishmagnet when the company was looking for a location for its European sales office. The company was first interested in Finland due to its stable business environment and proximity to Russia and the rest of Europe, but it was the ‘Finlanding’ competition that sealed it.
Finlanding is a Russian-Finnish program targeted at Russian hi-tech companies interested in international business. The program supports Russian companies’ internationalisation and it runs a competition where finalists are given intensive consultation and networking opportunities in Finland. Fishmagnet was a Finlanding finalist in 2014.
— It’s a very good competition for Russian firms who plan to operate in Finland and Europe. We were given great assistance on how to establish and organise our business in Finland, Nikolaev explains.
But the new sales office is just the start for Fishmagnet. The company plans to make a strong foothold in the European market in the next few years and it has received inquiries from the US and Canada, where there is large target market of fishing enthusiasts. Fishmagnet is also planning to expand its range into additional electronic fishing equipment.
When asked about the company’s vision for the coming years, Nikolaev has a clear answer: to become the Rapala of electronic fish baits.
Finnish fishing equipment company Rapala sells tens of millions of lures annually. So perhaps Finland is Fishmagnet’s best catch yet.
Text: Eeva Haaramo
Interested in relocating to Lahti Region? Find out more about business opportunities at www.lahtibusinessregion.com.
Article published in cooperation with Good News from Finland.