Miami-based Unybrands was co-founded in 2020 by CEO Ulrich Kratz, Eugen Miropolski, and Christian Harnischfeger to buy, build and boost online brands where business owners have reached the limits of their scale due to a lack of operational infrastructure and growth capital. It has recently raised funds worth $25 million and so far acquired 2 companies that sell on Amazon marketplaces and also on their own websites. The founders aim to buy those companies focused on health and sustainability and also grow them by bringing European brands to the U.S. and vice versa.
The company will also have to face competition among a couple of other companies that have raised cash solely for the purpose of buying smaller brands that have carved out a niche on marketplaces run by Amazon.com Inc. and other companies.
In 2020, the funds dedicated to buying e-commerce companies increased dramatically to $5.8 billion from $1.3 billion. Hence, “It is a great time to be in this business,” Kratz told. “Growth in e-commerce is going to accelerate more. We are bringing scale to small brands. Customer habits are changing, and they now want small brands and to go by reviews. We can marry that.” he added.
With third-party sellers accounting for 60% of Amazon’s sales, there are plenty of successful Amazon brands for investors to buy, says Thomas Smale, CEO of FE International. “Plus some of the early funds are beginning to show some success, so investors are throwing more money at them,” he says. There are now at least 51 companies focused on buying Amazon brands, according to U.K. business broker Hahnbeck. Thirteen of those companies have publicly disclosed their funding, and they have collectively raised over $2.6 billion in the capital.
There exist a plethora of things that sets Unybrands apart from its competitors. For starters, one point is it focuses on a certain kind of customer, the one who is mainly interested in health and sustainability. Moreover, it will focus on finding products geared to such shoppers in just eight product categories, divided into two groups.
One group is consumables—personal care, pet supplies, household products, and supplements—and the second encompasses durable items in such areas as juvenile and baby, sports and fitness, garden and outdoor, and lifestyle/home.
Another highlight about the company is that it will be able to work both sides of the Atlantic Ocean since all of its co-founders were inhabitants of Germany with experience working in the United Kingdom. One of Unybrands’ strategies will be to take successful U.S. brands and bring them to Europe, and European brands to the U.S. That geographic expansion is often beyond the capability of small companies.
“We are working to acquire the right businesses and integrate them onto our platform, as well as continuing to build on the team and technology to be successful,” he added. “We plan to grow the brands on both sides of the Atlantic.”