- Accel Club joins a host of other startups battling it out to buy and scale popular Amazon brands.
- The Amsterdam-based company has just raised a $170 million Series A in equity and venture debt.
- Insider got an exclusive look at the pitch deck it used to convince investors.
An e-commerce startup buying and scaling Amazon brands has raised $170 million in fresh funds in a mix of equity and venture debt.
Amsterdam-based Accel Club joins a host of newly-spawned startups aggregating and growing Amazon brands after a boom in e-commerce during the pandemic.
Cofounders and serial entrepreneurs Max Firsov, CEO, and Nick Tuzenko, MD, were inspired by US heavy hitter Thrasio and decided to take a shot at the market in 2021.
Firsov’s previous food delivery startup was bought by Yandex – Russia’s Google equivalent – where he stayed on to head up its food tech services. Tuzenko, meanwhile, is the former MD of Busfor, a bus transportation marketplace acquired by BlaBlaCar in 2019.
This time around, the pair don’t see an exit on the horizon anytime soon. “We were looking for something we can invest 10 to 20 years of our lives in, because we have an ambition to build a global player.”
The Amazon seller aggregation market is increasingly hot with three-year-old Thrasio rumored to be in talks to go public via a SPAC deal at a valuation as high as $10 billion. Firsov, however, expects to see a “lot of fails” in the next two years.
“Some of the players are very aggressive,” he said. “We see some of the deals our competitors do and we would never do that. We see how they fail afterwards, after the deal is closed. In execution, building, operations. It’s a pretty tough business – not all of the players will survive.”
Firsov added they felt confident entering the market because the pair already had experience building marketplaces and that they know “how tough it is inside.”
The startup currently sells 1,100 items across seven marketplaces, it said. It has been focusing on the US market but will use the fresh cash to enter Europe and China.
While Accel Club is primarily focused on buying and growing existing brands, which have around 60% of sales coming from Amazon versus other platforms like eBay, the cofounders also hope to launch brands and products themselves.
As part of deals, sellers stay on as advisors or consultants and receive two earn-out payments over two years, which is tied to the brand’s success. Accel Club will absorb teams from sellers who have them, with a trial period between three to six months to ensure individuals fit within the existing culture.
Launching as a team of two in February, the startup has grown to around 100 and plans to bring an additional 100 people on board.
While many existing aggregators are headed up by former Amazon sellers or executives, the cofounders want a mix of e-commerce experts and otherwise. “It’s like fingers on your hand – they should be different sizes,” Firsov said.
“Amazon is also changing a lot,” Tuzenko added. “In three to six months, a lot of knowledge or expertise just becomes obsolete. What we really care about is whether people really fit our culture.”
The Series A equity financing was led by Redseed, with participation from early-stage backers Flyer One Ventures. Meanwhile, the debt funding was led by Europe’s North Wall Capital from the firm’s dedicated e-commerce lending strategy.
Accel Club will also use the cash to invest in automating its processes.
Check out the pitch deck it used to secure the latest round below.
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