The Rise of E-commerce Roll-ups & New Business Opportunities by@whizzoe

The Rise of E-commerce Roll-ups & New Business Opportunities

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Zoe Chew

Built 11 MVPs using rapid validation. Founder: Analyzing Consumer Tech & Platforms. 👋About:

👋 I’m Zoe Chew, a product builder. I’ve built multiple apps using the rapid MVP method: sneaker apppersonal FAQmeal kit appvirtual event appSaaS trackerfood deliverycontent app +more

At Venturescale, I’m on a quest to understand the future of the Internet. I analyze profitable industries & biggest players, and how you can compete and monetize—at the intersection of Internet platforms & consumer tech.

Today’s post is about e-commerce acquisition platforms. Read here if you’re interested in the Web3 creators economyfuture of social networksFinTech & wellness tech, or B2C online marketplaces.

The Rise of e-commerce Roll-ups

In the past, roll-ups were mainly proceeded by private equity firms, large conglomerates, and institutional buyers, whereby companies acquire businesses in the same market and merging them under a single entity to scale.

Today, there are new companies that consolidate independent private label brands with decent revenue. They are the aggregators of e-commerce brands. Unlike marketplaces that connect buyers and sellers to acquire or sell off their brands (e.g., Flippa and Exchange Marketplace by Shopify), roll-up platforms are operational and resourceful. They:

  • Have a thesis around e-commerce product categories they want to acquire
  • Search across marketplaces like Amazon and Shopify
  • Find winners and merge these companies
  • Operate like a private equity firm, may fund and invest in buyout businesses
  • Platform-agnostic or vertical-focused
  • Grow them collectively using built-in technology, infrastructure, data analytics, operational expertise, capital, and economies of scale
  • (📥 Full version) 3 more specific strategies on how aggregators operate and scale

Key Players Around the World

  • Amazon-focused aggregators: Thrasio (made $100 million in profits, acquired more than 100+ brands), HeydayPerch, and Branded
    • Shopify aggregator: OpenStore
    • Home living & consumer electronics roll-up: Berlin Brands Group
    • Asia-Pacific focused consolidator: Una Brands (raised US$40 million) targets acquisition on Tokopedia, Lazada, Shopee, and Rakuten using a platform-agnostic approach by focusing on Shopify, Magento, or WooCommerce.
    • (📥 Full version) 1 more company that focuses on the Amazon platform
    • (📥 Full version) 5 more companies from emerging market

    What Problems Do They Solve?

  • Not being able to find ideal buyers ➝ help sellers get acquired. Roll-up platforms help successful e-commerce merchants or direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands to exit their businesses lucratively.
    • (📥 Full version) 3 more valid problems they are solving that actually make these platforms super profitable. You’ll also learn:
    • How do roll-up platforms create values for their clients?
    • What are the user pain points in getting a business acquired?
    • How do they tackle complexities in selling off businesses?

    Business Models

    Roll-up companies are running the business using a private-equity model. They act like collaborators, operators, and venture capitalists (VC) at the same time. For example:

    • Thrasio acquires third-party sellers on Amazon, focusing on everyday consumer brands, scale the business, and offer exit options for the sellers. In 2020, Thrasio recorded a profit of $100 million on $500 million in revenues.
    • Heyday provides tech stack, capital, advice, and insights to help consumer product brands accelerate the next level of growth.
    • (📥 Full version) 2 more specific ways to monetize as e-commerce aggregators. You’ll also learn:
    • different ways to partner with potential acquisition targets
    • different ways to expand your roll-up portfolio

    Why Now?

    As e-commerce entrepreneurship is exploding, there will be more successful independent merchants who will need to find a way to exit their brands. Here is the market potential snapshot:

    • Growing numbers of independent sellers. In 2020, more than 50% of Amazon’s gross merchandise volume (GMV) was coming from third-party, independent sellers.
    • (📥 Full version) 3 more market evidence in detail to help you answer the “why now” questions for your investors or partners. You’ll also learn:
    • insight from Amazon financial statement
    • impact of D2C brands
    • insight from the emerging e-commerce markets and why there are untapped opportunities to monetize

    Business Opportunities

  • (📥 Full version) 4 specific product ideas and business opportunities that are solving problems. You’ll unlock:
    • one specific product idea in SaaS
    • one vertical-focused roll-up platform idea
    • a solution to help aggregators find the next acquisition winner
    • specific business idea to participate in a roll-up partnership

    Want more? Consider the members-only version:

    • 🔺 3 more specific strategies on how aggregators operate and scale
    • 📝 6 more new market players
    • 🧐 3 more valid problems they are solving that actually make these platforms super- profitable
    • 🖍 3 more market evidence in detail to help you answer the “why now” questions (most important slide in a pitch deck!) for your investors
    • 🚀 4 specific product ideas and business opportunities that are solving problems

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    Note: This article is part of my resource newsletters↗️ where I share insights on building things in tech. Join me :)‍

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    by Zoe Chew @whizzoe.Built 11 MVPs using rapid validation. Founder: Analyzing Consumer Tech & Platforms. 👋About:
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