The acquisition will help Olsam, which recently raised $165m, scale globally as it leads the way in market consolidation
10 December 2021, London: Olsam Group (“Olsam” or “the Company”), which acquires and scales category leading e-commerce businesses, has completed the acquisition of the assets of Flywheel Commerce, a US-based e-commerce aggregator. The acquisition will help Olsam, which recently raised $165m, further extend its footprint globally, in particular across North America. Following completion, the brands of Flywheel Commerce will continue to operate in the US and by leveraging Olsam’s expertise as a UK acquirer, expand them globally, notably into the UK and EU.
Globally in 2020, Amazon’s vast ecosystem of six million sellers generated over $300 billion in sales, growing 50% year-over-year. This grew again by 61% in Q1 of 2021, which would make this ecosystem the 42nd largest economy in the world. Firms acquiring successful brands on Amazon have attracted around $7 billion in capital over the past twelve months, with almost 3,000 sellers in the UK hitting $1 million in turnover. With more than half (53%) of product searches now starting on Amazon, compared to 23% starting on search engines, there is a huge opportunity to scale e-commerce businesses across global marketplaces
The market is still relatively young, and with a large influx of capital into the sector, this is one of the first examples of market consolidation in the Amazon aggregator space. Those that can leverage scale and operational capabilities to grow not just via acquisitions, but organically as well through international expansion, paid social, affiliate marketing and D2C, are more likely to succeed in the long run.
One of the brands joining the Olsam portfolio is Paw 5, the creator of the original Snuffle Mat. The products are manufactured by Ethical Apparel Africa, a female led NGO based out of Ghana that utilizes sustainable upcycled textiles. With design and utility patents in place, Olsam believes that by expanding the product line-up as well as by geography, Paw 5 can showcase the levers that the Company pulls across all its portfolio.
Jonathan Greenglass, from Flywheel Commerce, said:
“Flywheel entered the e-commerce space two years ago after seeing the accelerated growth of Amazon’s ad spending and third party seller businesses. Our strategy was to partner with world class entrepreneurs and businesses that could provide a unique edge by bringing their products and offerings into the Amazon ecosystem. Olsam provided the three things that we cared most about. Fair value for our business, trust that they could and would get the transaction done on the terms we agreed to, and a counterparty with whom we enjoyed working. From our first conversations with Tommy and Nicki from Olsam’s M&A team, they were prepared, with a perspective on our business, and a willingness to collaborate to find the right path forward that satisfied the needs of all parties.”
Sam Horbye, Co-founder of Olsam and former Business Marketplace Manager at Amazon UK, said:
“I personally love the Paw 5 brand due to its emphasis on sustainably sourced materials and a really interesting manufacturing value chain, from the materials they use to create the product, through to the team behind the brand itself and the IP that sits behind the materials and design. Jonathan has thought very carefully about building a brand that customers adore, with strong reviews, brand and IP, that will allow Olsam to scale this brand to new heights.”
Ollie Horbye, Co-founder of Olsam, said:
“The whole Olsam team have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Jonathan and the Flywheel Commerce Team during the process. We see enormous growth potential in the portfolio of brands, in particular launching them in Olsam’s home European markets. The acquisition of the assets of US aggregator Flywheel Commerce represents a significant milestone for Olsam as we continue to deepen our presence in the US. Olsam’s operational expertise and successful track record continues to attract strong deal flow from the US and we look forward to working with many more US based sellers and aggregators seeking an exit.”
About Olsam Group
From Amazon to social commerce, Olsam is becoming Europe’s next generation consumer goods company. Founded by experts in technology, operations, strategy, and with over 20 years of ex-Amazon marketplace experience, Olsam is a technology-driven commerce company that acquires and operates top Amazon third-party and other D2C ecommerce brands at scale.
About Flywheel Commerce
Flywheel Commerce built and acquired premium brands that were sold across Amazon, Walmart, Chewy, direct to consumer and hundreds of smaller retailers. Flywheel Commerce focused on premium products sold at a premium price point to consumers who care about quality and ethically sourced products. We believe that to build a long term, sustainable brand today you need sustainable products and business practises.