Berlin-based SellerX, which buys up small sellers doing well on Amazon, has secured €100m in new funding to expand its business — part of a growing trend of aggregators looking to capitalise on the booming success of Amazon.
The startup, founded in August this year, acquires consumer product businesses doing well on the ecommerce site, with a view to scaling them up and improving their branding.
The latest investment in the young company comes from Cherry Ventures, Felix Capital and TriplePoint Capital, as well as some angel investors, including Zalando cofounder David Schneider and former Amazon UK CEO Chris North.
SellerX is one of several new startups looking to acquire well-performing Amazon sellers. The first to do so was American company Thrasio, founded in 2018 and now valued at over $1bn.
There’s also Heroes, based in London, which just secured $65m in seed funding, and Razor, which, like SellerX is based in Germany and launched this summer.
SellerX only takes products that work through the ‘Fulfilled by Amazon’ service, meaning they’re shipped to customers through Amazon’s warehouse.
The company acquired its first seller in the summer, and, although it won’t disclose specifics about the products it sells, cofounder Philipp Triebel explains they go for “consumer, evergreen products.”
“It’s important that we don’t buy something that’s just in fashion for a few months,” he says. “We’ll look at household goods, pet goods, garden goods, beauty and growing niches.”
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“We want category leaders, with a high view count on Amazon, good reviews and good ratings,” adds Triebel.
“We have a strategic eye too, we look for brands that we can develop, becoming a sort of digital Proctor and Gamble, developing the brands we acquire,” says Malte Horeyseck, fellow cofounder.
Some sellers will stay on for a while after acquisition to help whilst others, Triebel explains, are looking to cash out and pursue something else.
Amazon’s pandemic boom
SellerX launched in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, during which Amazon’s profits have soared. At the end of July, for example, it announced quarterly profits of $5.2bn, double the figure for July 2019, and its net sales have risen by 40%.
But this isn’t necessarily good for aggregators like SellerX, Horeyseck explains.
“Many sellers have done very well over the past few months, their sales have increased and their profits have increased, so they’re a little bit more expensive to acquire compared to if we’d bought them prior to corona.”
Still, the SellerX team aims to expand their acquisitions fast over the next year, putting the €100m investment largely towards buying up new sellers.
“We’ll continue to build our team and our technology,” Triebel says, “but the majority will go to the acquisition of sellers, around 30 and 40 of them over the next 12 months."
The €100m round includes both equity and debt.