One of the biggest funding trends of the past year are companies that consolidate small e-commerce brands. Many of the most notable startups in the space, such as Theresio, Berlin Brands Group and Branded Group, focus on strengthening Amazon marketers vendors. But the e-commerce landscape is more fragmented in the Asia-Pacific region, where sellers use platforms such as Tocopedia, Lazada, Shopee, Rakuten or eBay, depending on where they are. This is where Una Brands comes. Co-founder Kiren Tanna, former chief executive of Rocket Internet Asia, said the startup is “platform agnostic”, exploring the marketplace (and platforms such as Shopify, Magento or Vucom) for potential acquisitions.
Una announced today that it has raised an equity and debt round of $ 40 million. Investors include 500 startups, Kingsway Capital, 468 Capital, Present Capital, Global Founders Capital and Maximilian Bitner, former CEO of Lazada who currently hold the same role in second-hand fashion platform Westiaer Collective.
Una did not disclose the ratio of equity and debt in the round. Like many other e-commerce aggregators, including Thresio, Una extended debt financing to purchase the brand because it is non-diluted. Gol will also be used to aggressively hire to evaluate brands in its pipeline. Una currently has teams in Singapore, Malaysia and Australia and plans to expand into Southeast Asia before entering Taiwan, Japan and South Korea.
Tanna, who founded Foodpanda and Zen Room, launched Una with Adrian Johnston, Kushal Patel, Tobias Hatch and Srinivasan Sreedharan. He estimates that there are more than 10 million third-party vendors spread across various platforms in the Asia-Pacific.
“Every single vendor in Asia is looking at multiple platforms and not just Amazon,” Tanna told ClearTips. “We saw that e-commerce in the market is growing very fast, but players in the West are not able to track every platform, that’s why we decided to focus on APAC, start business there and acquire vendors.” Which are selling on multiple platforms. “
Una is looking for brands with annual revenues of between $ 300,000 to $ 20 million and is open to multiple categories, as long as they have a strong SKU and low seasonality (for example, it avoids fast fashion). . Its offering prices range from approximately $ 600,000 to $ 3 million.
Tanna said that Una would retain acquisitions as individual brands “because what’s working, we don’t change it.” How it adds value comes from doing things that are difficult for small brands to execute, especially those run by only one or two people, such as expanding into more distribution channels and countries.
“For example, Indonesia has at least five or six important forums that you need to have, and many times sellers are not doing that, so we do something like this,” Tanna reported. “The second is across the border in South-East Asia, which sellers often cannot do themselves due to customs, import restrictions and regulations surrounding duties. Our team has some such experience and wants to bring in all the brands. “
Amazon FBA roll-up players get the benefit of Amazon Marketplace Analytics which allows them to quickly measure the performance of brands in their pipeline of potential acquisitions. As it relates to different markets and platforms, Una works with much more fragmented sources of data for revenue, costs, rankings, and customer reviews. On a larger scale, the company is currently building technology to automate its evaluation process and will also have local teams in each of its markets. Despite working with several e-commerce platforms, Tanna said that Una is able to complete a deal within five weeks, with an offer usually within two or three days.
In countries where Amazon is the dominant e-commerce player, like the United States, many entrepreneurs launch FBA brands with the goal of flipping them for profit within a few years, a trend that Thracio and other Amazon roll-ups Are tapping into startups. But this concept is less common in Una markets, so it offers different team deals to appeal to potential vendors. Although Una acquires 100% of the brands, it also performs a profit-sharing model with vendors, so they first get a lump sum payment for the majority of their business, then Una collects more money as a brand. Tanna said that Una usually works on a consultancy basis with vendors for about three to six months after the sale.
“Something that Amazon players are well aware of is that they can find a product, sell it for four to five years, and then ideally pull out a multi-million deal and create another product Can or go on vacation, ”said Tanna. “It’s something that Asian vendors are not familiar with, so we see it as an education phase to understand how the process works, and why it makes sense to sell it to us.”