How these startups are using the Thrasio model to help small brands scale
Thrasio, founded in the US in 2018, created a buzz due to its unique operational style. Claiming to be on a mission to “reimagine how the world's most loved products become accessible to everyone”, the startup acquires successful third-party sellers and gives their founders a lucrative exit. It now manages a huge global portfolio.
The Thrasio model has become popular, with many startups in India attempting to replicate the template: acquiring digital-first, fast-growing brands and scaling their products.
Here are some startups that are operating in this space and helping small businesses grow and scale:
Founded in 2021 by Nitin Agarwal, New Delhi-based rollup ecommerce startupacquires digital-first brands across categories such as personal care, home, sports, beauty, nutrition, food, lifestyle, fitness, which have a revenue rate of $1 million to $20 million, and helps them grow.
These brands are helped with resources to scale their businesses and online marketplaces such as Flipkart and Amazon.
Within months of inception, the startup made it to the unicorn list, with $111.5 million in a Series B round led by Premji Invest.
“Ninety-nine percent of the world does equally and better than just Ivy League graduates. One percent of those businesses get funded by venture capital and private equity. And then there are those 99 percent businesses that are equally good and better, in some cases, and just want something different as capital and not venture and private equity capital,” Nitin said.
“GlobalBees’ vision is to create a large portfolio of innovative consumer brands that can create an impact across the world,” he said.
Founded in 2021 by Pulkit Chhabra and Utsav Agarwal, Mumbai-based ecommerce rollup startupacquires online sellers in athletic wear, pet and baby care, and kitchen utilities, among other product categories, and helps them to become brands with expertise across marketing, supply chain, procurement, and others.
The startup specialises in growing ecommerce brands with performance marketing, managing inventory, cataloguing, platform merchandising and even new product development.
“We are majorly focused on online sellers instead of direct-to-consumer (D2C) startups. A D2C player is trying to build a brand and wants people to come to its website and experience its products and shop, while a digital seller is looking to increase its top line and bottom line,” Utsav said.
Founded by Gautam Kshatriya, Saaim Khan, and Nitin Agarwal in 2021, Gurugram-based ecommerce brand investor and operatorpartners with promising digital-first brands that sell on ecommerce marketplaces like Amazon, Myntra, Nykaa, and Flipkart, and helps profitably scale them 5-10x.
Gautam Kshatriya, CEO of UpScalio
The startup helps partner businesses in all key operations, including multi-marketing management, branding, sourcing, digital marketing, finance and business operations using advanced analytics.
“Our rationale of acquiring these brands was the disorganised nature of the sector. These brands have accumulated customer love and customers take pride in these brands. We stay away from fashion, beauty, and personal care categories as these brands take a long time to register profits. With D2C beauty brands, it is difficult to predict whether it will be profitable, while fashion requires a new drop every quarter or so,” Gautam said.
Founded by Ananth Narayanan, Pawan Kumar Dasaraju, and Aniket Nikumb, Bengaluru-basedpartners and invests in digital-first brands across home and garden, personal care and food, fashion and apparel, and helps them scale exponentially.
Ananth Narayanan, Founder and CEO, Mensa Brands
Mensa turned unicorn within six months of launch with a $135 million Series B funding round led by Alpha Wave Ventures, Falcon Edge Capital, Accel Partners, Tiger Global Management and Norwest Venture Partners to continue partnering with founding teams of customer-loved brands and help them become household names.
"We are looking to build a global tech house of brands. We're trying to genuinely see if we can build a new-age house of brands. At Mensa, we are passionate about using technology to build digital brands that are rooted in bringing joy to our customers,” Ananth said.
By December 2022, the startup aims to acquire over 40 brands.
G.O.A.T Brand Labs
Founded by Rishi Vasudev and Rameswar Misra in 2021, Bengaluru-based startupaccelerates the growth of D2C brands. The startup works with differentiated and exciting digitally-native brands in the lifestyle space such as beauty, personal care, home, fashion, and nutrition, and helps them to the next level of growth.
In July 2021, the startup raised $36 million in a Series A round led by Tiger Global and Flipkart Ventures to accelerate the growth of D2C brands in India, given its deep expertise in this segment
“Through this venture, we are bringing together passionate entrepreneurs, their D2C brands, marquee investors, industry experts, and a dynamic team, who believe in the philosophy of partnering and nurturing. We want these brands to have access to the best resources so that they scale rapidly to become ‘Greatest of All Time'," Rishi said.
Founded in 2020 by Bhavana Suresh, Deepak Nair, and Joel Ayala, Bengaluru-based ecommerce rollup startuppartners with ecommerce products sellers in India by acquiring their businesses, working with them, and helping them to grow 10x in size.
With its centralised platform model featuring market experts in-house, processes, tech, and a playbook, the startup helps these businesses scale.
“We have already built our foundational pillars of the centralised platform with a strong leadership team, a partner ecosystem, and an operational playbook to deliver high performance. The potential to catalyse the entrepreneur, scale their business, and thereby build a formidable portfolio under the 10club umbrella is immense,” Bhavna said.
In June 2021, 10club raised $40 million in a seed round from Fireside Ventures and a US investor to expand its portfolio of brands, investing in building its technology stack and for working capital purposes.