SellerX, which buys up small sellers on Amazon and grows the businesses, has raised €26m, as the ecommerce aggregator industry continues to grow.
The raise comes just five months after SellerX secured a €100m seed round in November.
The latest investment is led by 83North and features participation from existing investors including Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital, Zalando cofounder David Schneider and former Amazon UK CEO Christopher North.
SellerX, founded in 2019, is part of a booming industry of Amazon aggregators which buy up Amazon sellers, aiming, as SellerX’s cofounder Malte Horeyseck puts it, to become “the digital Proctor and Gamble.”
About 40 Amazon aggregators have popped up in the last few years, and investors poured $1bn into the industry in 2020 alone. The biggest of them is US-based Thrasio, which has raised $536m so far.
“We’ve seen our hypothesis about the business model realised,” explains Horeyseck. “The gains we believed we could materialise are performing better than expected and the companies we acquire are increasing in value by a multiple of what we expected.”
SellerX has now acquired 20 businesses, across a portfolio of evergreen direct to consumer goods. This includes: garden and household goods, art supplies, pet supplies, DIY tools, supplements, beauty products, baby products and fitness tools.
Amazon’s evolution: why now
The sudden rise of aggregators makes sense because of how Amazon itself is functioning, Horeyseck explains.
The company works on the principle that having a large selection of goods means a large customer conversion. To increase its selection, it opened the marketplace up to third-party sellers, who were mainly reselling goods.
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This meant the quality of the marketplace decreased, so the company launched ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ — where goods are shipped through Amazon’s warehouse system — which led to the professionalisation of the sellers.
This is where aggregators come in. Now, after a few years of growth, those Fulfilled by Amazon sellers are at a point where it makes sense for aggregators to acquire and build the brands further.
“Covid-19 and lockdowns have boosted the growth of lots of categories on Amazon,” explains Philipp Triebel, cofounder of SellerX.
While the pandemic has accelerated ecommerce massively, there’s uncertainty about what will happen to the industry when life starts to return to normal.
“We are on a peak valuation now and a lot of the businesses could see a decline in the next quarter, just because the spike last year in March and April was so crazy,” explains Horeyseck. “That’s some of the uncertainty.”
SellerX, however, says the businesses it’s acquired so far are performing a lot better than it had predicted, and this is one reason why it’s raised more funds.
Using the new investment, SellerX is aiming to acquire 50 to 60 businesses across the next year and a half, as well as expand its team — which currently stands at 120 people across offices in Germany, the UK and the US.
The acquisitions so far have been focused on Europe and the US, but the company says it’ll go wherever Amazon has a marketplace, and the Fulfilled by Amazon function.
“Markets like Japan and China are interesting to us, and up-and-coming markets like India, Latin America, and Poland that’s just launched,” explains Horeyseck. “As Amazon spreads its wings, the market just increases.”