Thrasio Enters Indian Market To Compete With 'Thrasio-style' Homegrown Startups

Thrasio comes to India at a time when roll-up commerce or 'Thrasio-style' business model is proving to be a hit

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After acquiring more than 200 brands globally and raising more than $3.4 billion funding, US-based Thrasio forays into the Indian market. 

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Thrasio will be entering the market by acquiring a digital consumer brand in India, Lifelong Online, which will lead the on-ground execution. Called ‘Lifelong, a Thrasio company’, it will be headed by Lifelong’s co-founder and CEO Bharat Kalia.

Founded by Joshua Silberstein and Carlos Cashman in 2018, US-based Thrasio acquires Amazon's third-party private-label businesses and helps them optimize operations. It offers upwards of $1 million and provides support in various areas such as marketing, product development and supply chain management. 

Thrasio has committed INR 3750 crore to acquire Indian businesses. “We couldn’t be more excited to work with Lifelong Online and, together, take our proven model to India,” said Carlos Cashman, CEO, Thrasio. 

“As we got to know Lifelong, it became clear that they are the ideal partner for what we want to accomplish. Their team of proven executives has already built an amazing business, and their understanding of the Indian consumer is unparalleled. Their expertise and local leadership will be invaluable as we make an enduring commitment to India. 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,” he added.

“We are building a technology-first, next-generation consumer goods company,” explained Bharat Kalia, CEO of Lifelong Online. “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 a number of 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!” Lifelong Online’s current investors Tanglin Venture Partners and the Hero Group will continue their support.

Thrasio comes to India at a time when roll-up commerce or as often called the Thrasio-style business model is flourishing. 

Rise Of Roll Up Commerce 

In India, with the recent boom in e-commerce, around five startups have replicated the model to help small entrepreneurs achieve economies of scale. Basically, these startups look for brands with strong potential for sustainable hypergrowth, acquire them and help them grow. Many startups have raised a significant amount of funding from VCs. Some of the notable names include GlobalBees, Mensa, Goat and 10Club. 

Mensa Brands, founded by Ananth Narayanan, became the fastest company to turn a unicorn after it raised $135 million in Series B funding in November, six months after its launch.

GlobalBees also recently has secured $111.5 million in series B funding led by Premji Invest. The round also saw participation from existing investors including SoftBank and FirstCry, while Steadview Capital became the latest investor to back the company. With this latest investment, GlobalBees’ valuation stood at $ 1.1 billion. “We have created a stellar team. We have the right partners backing us, and the ecosystem has been kind in partnering with us to help us scale up the brands that we are acquiring,” Nitin Agarwal, CEO, GlobalBees told us in an earlier interview.  

It has a portfolio of companies across categories such as Homecare, Beauty and Personal Care, Nutrition & Wellness, Fashion Jewellery, and Eyewear. GlobalBees plans to invest in 100+ brands across verticals over the next three years, including fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), sports, home organization, and lifestyle.

“Many of the Thrasio-based startups have completed their funding rounds and have started acquiring brands and we could see the acquisition pace pick up in 2022. This year could be sort of a litmus test for the investors in this space as the startups would go on to prove their business models on which huge amounts of funds have been raised,” said Ankur Bansal, co-founder and director, BlackSoil.He also added that some of these companies are likely to go for a bigger equity round or lever up their balance sheet with significant debt by early 2022 in order to expand operations of acquired brands as well as take over new ones.

S Shanthi

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Entrepreneur Staff

Shanthi specializes in writing sector-specific trends, interviews and startup profiles. She has worked as a feature writer for over a decade in several print and digital media companies. She is also a mom who looks forward to playing a game of cards with her tween daughter every evening after work.