Thrasio’s internal estimates based on the number of different households products have been shipped to place its products in 1 in 10 American households.
“Everything we buy is a solution to a problem,” said Joshua Silberstein, founder of Thrasio. Much of what he is looking for in acquisitions is obvious: a good product, differentiation, a solid, scalable supply chain. Other factors are more specific to Amazon. Good reviews and high search rankings are extremely valuable and take time to acquire. Products that need to be changed or updated frequently are more difficult for related reasons. “We wouldn’t do something like drones,” said Mr. Silberstein. “No matter how good a drone is, someone else will come up with a better one.”
Not so with a pet deodorant like Angry Orange, an acquisition that Thrasio often describes as a success story ($ 30 million in sales last year after purchasing $ 1.4 million in 2018), or TrailBuddy, his brand for hiking sticks, or for his extensive listings in bedding, craft supplies, coolers and thermoses. These priorities give Thrasio’s portfolio a peculiar and decidedly Amazonian quality: a bit of Bed Bath & Beyond, a bit of QVC, a bit of Home Depot, a bit of Dick’s Sporting Goods, with a dash of random chaos. (Air filter; door stopper; an electric brush for car wheels, as seen on “Shark Tank”.)
Mr. Silberstein believes that there are many more healthy Amazon companies to buy and owners to sell. “If you are really successful on Amazon, that may be 95 percent of your net worth,” he said. “You are in a place where it is difficult to diversify and what if something goes wrong?”
Thrasio’s pitch is basically a payday and a promise that business is in good hands. Many of the more than 700 employees have experience in the often unpredictable and irreconcilable marketplace of Amazon. This is a perk that sets the company apart to differentiate itself from some newer competitors, particularly private equity firms that are passionate about a new asset class: Amazon listings.
There are already some extraordinary success stories from Amazon sellers, including maybe Anker, the electronics brand that made a name for itself in selling batteries. It is now publicly traded on a Chinese stock exchange and its products are available in Apple retail stores. Even so, at its core, Anker is an Amazon-based brand – a brand with sales of more than $ 1 billion last year.