Remember 2021, when founders had VCs fighting to give them tens of millions of euros? That fervour has cooled in 2022, but a few companies have bagged the flashy deals reminiscent of those heady days.
One of those is Razor, a Berlin-based Amazon aggregator, which has secured a €70m equity round led by US private equity fund L Catterton, a source w ith knowledge of the deal tells Sifted.
Aggregators — companies that buy up smaller brands that are doing well on Amazon with the aim of growing them — boomed back in post-pandemic 2021, when ecommerce more widely was extremely hot property.
VCs loved them, pouring $1bn into aggregators in a single day last year.
But the Razor deal comes amid a significantly changed market. Aggregators have become one of the many VC-hyped sectors to feel the effects of the downturn — a number have laid off staff and dealflow has all but dried up. Sifted has identified just one other aggregator deal this year: a €30m round for Dutch aggregator Dwarfs in November.
Who's investing in aggregators now?
L Catterton is an American investor specialised in consumer brands. It's previously backed other European aggregators, including German unicorn SellerX back in 2021, and has backed used car dealer Cazoo.
It’s unclear which other investors joined Razor’s round. The source says the deal values Razor at $1bn — the same as its previous round.
The Razor deal is unique in that it’s comprised entirely of equity. The majority of aggregator deals include a significant portion of debt. Razor secured $400m in debt from BlackRock and Victory Park Capital in July this year. Aggregators use debt raises to acquire more Amazon brands.
The aggregators have followed a similar trajectory to other VC-hyped sectors from the same era, like speedy grocery delivery. It’s long been predicted, like in the grocery sector, that aggregators would start to see consolidation.
Razor has already made one acquisition, of Spanish aggregator Factory14, and Sifted understands it has also made another in recent months.
L Catterton declined to comment.