Unybrands, a Miami-based aggregator of successful brands both on and off Amazon, has raised another $300 million to pursue its manifest destiny of acquiring 20 companies in 2021, building out its platform and doubling headcount to 50.
Unybrands CEO Ulrich Kratz, formerly of Goldman Sachs and Barclays and one of three founders, said the company is tracking ahead of its promise of 20 acquisitions this year, made after its seed round of $25 million in February.
“We’re accelerating development with the additional capital to the balance sheet,” Kratz said. “It gives us more firepower to speed up the rate at which we buy companies, hire and build our team, and make more and bigger investments in technology and processes.”
Unybrands, founded in 2020, focuses on acquiring top sellers in eight categories, with products that range between $15-$50 range. Target consumers are both value and values driven, favoring sustainability and durability. Geographically, the focus is on North America and Europe, as the target consumer personas in both regions are similar enough to enable brands to succeed across markets.
Kratz said focusing on FBA brands has the dual benefit of relying on Amazon’s vast fulfillment network, while also assuring products have the golden Prime eligibility badge. He said Unybrands does pursue brands not selling on Amazon but added it is “the biggest portion of our revenue.”
The team at Unybrands includes many with 15-20 years’ experience in key areas like ecommerce, supply chain, consumer brands, acquisition and integration and scaling young companies. The other two co-founders are Eugen Miropolski, formerly of WeWork, Airbnb and Nordstar, and Christian Harnischfeger, formerly of Morgan Stanley and DIA.
Kratz said the technology roadmap is focused on automation, integration and forecasting. “We’re working to automate all processes along the entire value chain,” he said. “When we’re looking at companies, a lot of the due diligence is tech driven and the model is algorithm based. Managing the supply chain is another big application for technology. Over time we’ll integrate the various pieces onto one comprehensive system. Finally, we’ll collect more data to forecast things like supply and demand.”
Asked about the growing competition among Amazon brand aggregators, Kratz said it’s a validation of the space – that and the massive amounts of capital pouring in.
“Part of doing M&A and buying companies is dealing with competitive situations,” he said. “Our model is, buy, build and boost. Part of our story is we want to make the founders proud, and we’re willing to pay fair multiples, and expect them to keep going up. More importantly, much of the value is generated from building and boosting. That’s where we make our mark.”