Big firms are popping up to buy third-party Amazon sellers, who made up more than half of the retail giant’s $386 trillion in net sales in 2020. Here are the biggest players in this fast-growing trend.

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According to Amazon growth agency Jungle Scout, more than 54% of the $386 trillion in net sales that the retail platform generated in 2020 came from third-party Amazon sellers. 

Between 2019 and 2020, Amazon invested $30 billion in its community of small sellers, spotlighting it in, among other things, a series of commercials outlining the fact that small and medium Amazon businesses sell 6,500 products every minute

That pace is changing, though. Over the past year, an increasing number of third-party sellers have cashed in on their Amazon brands, selling to heavily-funded companies, including category leader Thrasio.

Founded in 2018, the holding company has reached a $1 billion valuation on the strength of folding up nearly 100 Amazon brands. It also reached the pace of acquiring $1.5 million in revenue per day in the first quarter of this year, according to CEO Josh Silberstein. 

These larger, often multinational enterprises — Thrasio has outposts in the UK, Germany, and Japan — are able to apply their extensive marketing and other resources to propel acquired brands to new heights in sales, metrics that third-party sellers often wouldn’t have been able to achieve on their own. 

“These companies are trying to create the 21st century version of Procter & Gamble — that’s their mission,” attorney Paul Rafelson of ecommerce firm Rafelson & Shick, PLLC told Insider. “They have a sophisticated process of acquiring and growing these brands.” 

Rafelson cautioned, however, against a proliferation of firms trying to cash in on the boom, calling them “Faux-rasios.” While smaller pop-up firms may have the cash to make deals right now, they may not offer the type of infrastructure to support the brands they buy in the long term.

How to cash in on the Amazon exit trend

Manhattan-based Lori Barzvi, 45, former owner and CEO of footcare brand Love, Lori, LLC, sold her Amazon brand December of last year. 

“Running the business by myself, it had gotten as big as it could without me taking on investors,” she told Insider.

Citing so much competition in her category, she added that she would have had to invest heavily in outside marketing. “I felt stuck — there was no room left for me to scale on my own,” she said.


A former ballroom dance studio owner who started experimenting with footcare gadgets because of the rough state of her practice-worn feet, Barzvi invented My Solemate — a double-sided foot scrubber and exfoliator that was her hero product — in 2007 and brought it to Amazon seven years later. She founded the company, which netted over $1.5 million in sales in 2020, as a tribute to her brother Guy, who died in the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center. 

Barzvi sold Love, Lori to another large player in the field of Amazon aggregators, GOJA, in a $2.35 million deal. “The sale happened really fast once I started talking about the possibility of doing it,” she said. “To be honest, I didn’t realize that this whole trend was so hot, and I didn’t know how much my brand was worth.”

Barzvi said that toward the end of last year, she had multiple seller support issues with Amazon and noticed that these issues were common among the third-party seller community. She also noted an increase in suspensions of fellow third-party sellers on the site

“I started feeling like Amazon could shut my site down at any time, which for me would have been catastrophic,” Barzvi said. “I lost a lot of trust in their business practices.”

After reading and hearing about people selling their Amazon businesses, she started having conversations with some people in her network, eventually getting connected with GOJA. The whole process took less than a month, she added.

Even though her company had multiple personal ties, as is common for many smaller retailers, it wasn’t difficult for Barzvi to make the decision to sell. 

“I learned a long time ago to take emotion out of business,” Barzvi said. “Plus, I sold to a company that’s invested in making sure that the story about my brand will still be out there. That, in addition to the fair and honest way they did business with me, made it an easy decision for me at the end of the day.”

The companies rolling up Amazon businesses and who’s funding them

The landscape for buying businesses like Barzvi’s has become crowded with companies trying to profit on the trend. 

“There’s more buyers because they’ve recognized that this is a good business,” Walter Gonzalez, Jr., president of GOJA, the firm that acquired Barzvi’s company — one of 13 he said GOJA purchased in 2020 — told Insider. 


Gonzalez noted that many of the new entrants into the Amazon rollup market might penalize a seller with, say, an abundance of backstock when valuing them for sale, whereas experienced companies like GOJA can mitigate these risks. In other cases, a seller might be overvalued. 

“You’re going to see over the next couple of years the businesses that were able to do this correctly,” Gonzalez said. “I think we’re one of those.” 

Institutional investors are also finding this space extremely attractive. GOJA has attracted an undisclosed amount of funding from JP Morgan, Next Coast Ventures, and 3L Capital. Thrasio’s most recent $500 million debt round was underwritten by JP Morgan Bank, Goldman Sachs, BlackRock, Barclays, UBS, CreditSuisse, Oaktree, and RBC. 

Other companies in the category include Perch, which raised $123 million in funding last October from Spark Capital, Tectonic Ventures, and Boston Seed, and Boosted Commerce, which pulled in $87 million in funding last September from Torch Capital and a group of private investors.  

A November 2020 Forbes article quoted Jason Guerretteraz of online business brokerage stating that since 2018 just over a dozen companies had raised more than $100 million each to acquire Amazon brands, indicating that there’s an abundance of funding in the space to fuel continued acquisitions. 

Rafelson attributes investors’ interest in the category to the success of the category leader.  

“Thrasio has done a very good job of promoting themselves as the M&A leader — they’ve been very well-publicized and gotten a lot of attention, and so you’re seeing a lot of people jumping in trying to replicate the model,” he told Insider.

Rafelson added that many entrants make the mistake of viewing the model as easy to reproduce simply through economies of scale, but that the larger companies like Thrasio and GOJA are much more complex than they may seem from the outside looking in. “I don’t think people fully understand what their business model is and actually how difficult it is to replicate the success of one of these larger businesses,” he said.

Both Thrasio’s Silberstein and GOJA’s Gonzalez highlighted their extensive research processes and the teams they have involved in scouting and supporting their acquisitions. Additionally, Gonzalez spoke extensively about his company’s sales and support technology and infrastructure, which he said was one thing that attracted its investors to get involved, as it was similar to that of previous ventures they’d supported.  

“3L Ventures and NextCoast Ventures and JP Morgan were the folks that created and RetailMeNot, so the efficiencies that were created in rolling up that space through technology were exactly what they saw in us,” Gonzalez said. “Although this is ultimately a product business, there is a lot of technology in our company. All the things being done at scale at a Target or a Walmart, you start to bring that down into smaller businesses.”

As for the future, Thrasio’s CEO Silberstein pointed out that everyone goes to Amazon already armed with the idea of what they want to buy, and said he believes online shopping is gradually evolving past that “transactional model” to something more experience-driven.

Joshua Silberstein

Silberstein, who’s taking his company into more and more markets internationally with a view toward cross-pollinating products across the different Amazon platforms, told Insider that he’s considering what happens when ecommerce makes that leap. 

Amazon, he said, is “a tool designed to convert a well-understood consumer demand. What happens when things move away from this transactional engagement and more toward what Instagram is doing with, for example, their Shop model? That’s where Amazon doesn’t have such a strong ability to compete. It’s anybody’s ballgame as to who’s going to win that.”

What consolidation means for Amazon

Tim Derdenger, associate professor of marketing and strategy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business, said that the consolidation of the Amazon marketplace caused by smaller brands selling out to larger aggregators is ultimately a win for both Amazon and its customers. 


“It enables quality products to shine and grow on the marketplace,” Derdenger said. “The trouble with Amazon now is the difficulty consumers have in sorting through the vast number of available products for high-quality goods. Platforms, in general, succeed when there are quality products on board, and fail when there is an abundance of ‘lemons.'”

Derdenger also noted that it will take some of the heat off of Amazon from a legal standpoint, given that Congress has studied potential antitrust sanctions against the company in the development of its private-label brands.  

“With the roll-up of smaller brands and businesses, these brands can leverage the now larger size of the parent company to compete more vigorously against such actions,” Derdenger said. “As a result, it is possible that these rollups will mitigate Amazon’s market power, or at least mitigate how Amazon wields its market power.”   

Rafelson said these “megamarketers” may also help eliminate pop-up competition from foreign players who try to eliminate small brands by outpricing them and dominating their categories. 

“Because your sales are public record, there are people in China who can scale much faster than you and who can out-PPC you until you’re basically no more,” Rafelson said. “You’ve got that fierce competition and you know it’s coming, So what you need is someone who can outpace that, so you need a well-funded company that can sustain a brand and fight back against that.”

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