At a time when the ‘Thrasio’ model is fast catching up in India, where companies acquire brands and then help them grow, the US-based company behind this model, Thrasio, is now entering the Indian market.
The US e-commerce roll-up startup has announced its foray into India with a $500 million commitment towards the market. This announcement comes on the heels of nearly a $1 billion fund-raise that the roll-up unicorn raised in October last year, which Silver Lake led at a $ 5 billion valuation.
“India is a unique market with hundreds of thousands of motivated entrepreneurs. We are thrilled to provide brand owners with the opportunity to sell their businesses successfully as well as to give consumers greater access to quality products,” Carlos Cashman, CEO of Thrasio, said.
The way into the subcontinent
Thrasio Holdings has also acquired Lifelong Online, a leading online consumer brand, to build its digital-first brands portfolio.
Thrasio’s entry into India — known to be one of the fastest-growing digital consumer markets globally — at a time when homegrown startups are also bullish on brand aggregation with intense competition brewing between companies such as Mensa Brands, GlobalBees, among others.
Thrasio will be foraying into India by acquiring Lifelong Online, an Indian online consumer brand, which will now be called “Lifelong, a Thrasio company” and will lead the on-ground execution for Thrasio headed by Lifelong’s co-founder and CEO Bharat Kalia.
India is one of the fastest-growing regions for Amazon’s third-party marketplace, making it enticing for aggregators. This enormous opportunity, combined with the success of leading acquirers, has fuelled a rise in startups created under the rubric of the “Thrasio model,” the company said in a statement.
The Indian ballgame
Founded in 2018, Thrasio thrives on brands that sell on Amazon. With Lifelong leading the on-ground execution, Thrasio gains the strength of a knowledgeable, local company to run the Indian business.
“We couldn’t be more excited to work with Lifelong Online and, together, take our proven model to India,” the company’s statement quoted Cashman as saying.
“As we got to know Lifelong, it became clear that they are the ideal partner for what we want to accomplish. In addition to acquiring and growing digital-first businesses, we plan to participate in the ‘make in India’ movement by transitioning the manufacturing for some of our products to the country,” Cashman added.
Thrasio has acquired more than 200 brands, raised more than $3.4 billion in funding, and will continue to deploy those funds around the globe to acquire businesses with promise. Their entrance brings the firm with the most aggregation experience to the Indian market, while Lifelong Online would provide insight into Indian consumers and the local e-commerce ecosystem.
“Thrasio’s acquisition expertise and the strength of our platform across e-commerce, D2C, Amazon, and Flipkart are a perfect match. We are already in active discussions with several sellers, and we’re excited to help Indian entrepreneurs realize the full potential of their brands and products. With lucrative exit options for founders, we hope to encourage even more brands and sellers to join the D2C ecosystem in India,” said Bharat Kalia, CEO of Lifelong Online.