“Everything we buy is a solution to a problem,” says Joshua Silberstein, founder of Thrasio. Much of what he looks for in acquisitions is obvious: a good product, a differentiation, a solid and scalable supply chain. Other factors are more specific for Amazon. Good reviews and high search positions are extremely valuable and take time to acquire. Products that need to be changed or renewed regularly are more difficult, for related reasons. “We’re not going to do something like a drone,” said Silberstein. “No matter how good a drone is, someone else will come up with a better one.”
Not so for pet deodorants like Angry Orange, the acquisition that Thrasio often considers a success story ($ 30 million in sales last year, from a $ 1.4 million purchase. la in 2018), or TrailBuddy, the hiking pole brand or for its extensive listing in bedding, crafts, coolers and thermostats. These priorities give Thrasio’s portfolio a distinctive and clear Amazon quality: a bit of Bed Bath & Beyond, a bit of QVC, a little Home Depot, a bit of Dick Sports, with a little random chaos. (Air filter; door stopper; electric brush for car wheels, as seen on “Shark Tank”.)
Mr. Silberstein believes there are plenty of sane Amazon businesses to buy back and owners willing to sell. “When you’re really successful on Amazon, it can make up 95% of your net worth,” he said. “You’re in a place where it’s hard to diversify, and then what if something goes wrong?”
Essentially, Thrasio’s offer was a payday and a promise that the business was doing well. Many of the company’s more than 700 employees have Amazon’s unpredictable and uncompromising experience in the Marketplace, which is an advantage the company maintains that sets it apart from some of its competitors. Newer competition, especially private equity firms excited by what they understand as a new asset class: Amazon listing.
There have been a few particularly successful Amazon sellers, perhaps most notably Anker, the electronics brand that made a name for itself when it comes to selling batteries; It is currently publicly traded on the Chinese stock exchange, and its products are sold in Apple retail stores. Still, Anker remains Amazon’s core brand – a brand with more than $ 1 billion in revenue last year.
Like individual sellers, Thrasio’s business remains deeply embedded in Amazon, and its continued success depends to some extent on Amazon’s whims and whims.