Peter Chaljawski, founder and CEO, Berlin Brands Group
Berlin Brands Group, started in Germany in 2005 when its founder sold disc jockey equipment, has raised $240 million in debt-free funding to finance acquisition of successful third-party sellers on Amazon primarily in the U.S., growing off its European roots.
With a war chest of $540 million, Berlin Brands Group plans to invest $300 million of that in the coming months in acquiring profitable sellers in the $1 million-$100 million range. Other companies in the rollup land rush include Thrasio, Heyday, Perch and Elevate Brands.
UniCredit, Deutsche Bank and Commerzbank were involved in the debt financing for Berlin Brands Group, which says it has been profitable
Peter Chaljawski, founder and CEO of BBG, said the company has built up 14 brands in house within the last 15 years organically, in categories like gardening products, stereo equipment and kitchen appliances. It’s now looking outside for the next stage of growth, while keeping within categories it knows for now. He said BBG has acquired 20 brands just since December.
“We know there are great opportunities within the market to enhance great products, brands and founders” Chaljawski said. “We deeply believe in these brands and are excited to meet them and work together.”
He said BBG’s focus is helping brands that have been successful here crack the fragmented European market, leveraging its brand-building expertise and logistics infrastructure. Unlike the U.S., where Amazon’s market share is projected to hit 50% this year, per Statista, Chaljawski said it averages only about 10% across the EU.
“On top of each channel being fragmented, the market requires its own logistics process in order to be fast and reliable,” he said. “That’s why we built our own logistics infrastructure at strategic locations in Western and Eastern Europe, Asia and the U.S. To put things into perspective, BBG is one of the biggest Amazon sellers in Europe, but at the same time only makes 40% of its revenue with Amazon.”
BBG believes the next CPG powerhouse won’t be another Unilever or Procter & Gamble, but rather “a launch pad that gives brands the push and guidance they need to expand and grow.”
“We have the unique ability to scale any new or acquired brand in a highly profitable way across country-specific channels within a very short time,” Chaljawski said. “The integration of each acquired e-commerce brand into the BBG platform takes place in a highly automated process within just four to eight weeks. This includes content creation, translations, price adjustments and real-time updates on more than 100 platforms.”