Perch Raises $123.5M to Grow Its Stable of D2C Brands That Sell on Amazon

While Amazon slowly develops out its own-branded line of items, third-party sellers continue to account for a significant part of the transaction volume and development on its marketplace– by one quote, representing $200 billion of the $335 billion in gross merchandise value offered on Amazon in 2019. Today, in a twist on the economies of scale that has propelled much of Amazon’s development, a Boston start-up that has developed a tech platform that it utilizes both to purchase up and then run D2C brands offered on Amazon is announcing a major round of development funding to expand its business.

Perch, which acquires D2C companies and products that are already offering on Amazon, and after that continues to operate and grow those operations, has raised $123.5 million in funding.

Perch prepares to use the capital mainly to continue getting D2C businesses, in addition, to construct out its team and purchase its platform, “but we are rewarding so we plan to utilize cashflows from business to construct the group and the funding toward acquiring extra winning brands and products,” said Chris Bell, Perch’s CEO and founder, in an interview over e-mail.

The business presently counts ladies athleisure brand Satina, kitchenware from Flathead and Aulett and others, health and personal care brands among its stable of business. There are simply 10 on the platform today, and the funding is beginning the back of success up until now, in addition to enthusiastic strategies to grow that to 50 by the end of 2021, and eventually hundreds or countless brand names.

And prior to you think that this is practically running a lot of smaller sized companies together, Bell adds that “technology is the most essential part of our design.”

Some 40% of the start-up’s group deals with its platform, which is used to onboard “eventually thousands of brand names at scale in an e-commerce-native environment.” The platform is utilized to assist run analytics on sales, determine prices and ad strategy, and inventory positioning, and other marketing decisions. Longer-term it will also be used to help find out how to offer and balance items on social and retail channels (while ultimately offering through Amazon, for now).

The funding– which brings the overall raised by Perch to over $130 million– is being led by Glow Capital, with a previous backer, Tectonic Ventures, and new financier Boston Seed likewise participating. The startup is not revealing its assessment with this round.

Amazon has grown in part on the concept of economies of scale, both in regards to procurement as well as in circulation. Both in the case of physical or digital goods, little margins on sales of a huge array of products include up to strong returns; and the very same chooses exercising the costs for running a logistics and distribution network.

Perch has essentially selected up on that idea and is establishing its take on it around the D2C design.

Direct-to-consumer organizations have been among the big stories in e-commerce in the last years: companies are leveraging the internet and newer developments in making to develop their items and brands that they offer direct to clients, bypassing conventional retail chains, with some like Everlane, Warby Parker and Third Love discovering substantial success at the same time.

However while a lot of those sales have focused around D2C business developing their websites or by means of social media, a huge proportion of the smaller gamers are likewise selling through markets– and particularly Amazon’s market.

As a larger classification, they are growing quick– up 50% year-on-year in 2020, with some 86% of third-party sellers rewarding.

However on a specific basis, the majority of them don’t necessarily have a method for how they will scale or exit business eventually, so the opportunity here is to bring a number of these more promising smaller D2C brands into a bigger operation– the concept being to bring more economies of scale both to producing those items in addition to collectively dispersing them over Amazon.

“We generally do not retain the entrepreneurs or creators beyond a shift duration, though we are open-minded if there is the right fit, though they are often delighted to spend some time off or begin their next experience,” stated Bell. “For staff or specialists who deal with the creator on the brand, we have a conversation with the creator and those individuals throughout the process, and depending upon need or shared discussion we have kept some of those relationships.”

It’s Perch’s awareness of how to broaden the economies of scale for D2C that has attracted investors here.

“The Perch group has the M&A, eCommerce, and Amazon experience to understand what makes a quality and scalable consumer product and take those products to the next level post-acquisition,” said Alex Finkelstein, General Partner, Glow Capital, in a statement. “We are beyond delighted to lead this round. Perch is already off to a remarkably strong start. Provided the thriving eCommerce market, I anticipate we will continue to see record numbers and additional acquisitions this year.”

Bell added that while any company can approach it to get acquired, it has a relatively rigorous set of requirements for what it would seriously think about.

“We try to find winning products and brand names,” he stated. “What that means is the products require to have a proven track record of product-market fit, as evidenced through a minimum of 18-24 months of rewarding sales, great consumer reviews, low return rate, no evidence of consistent product quality problems, and a trademarked brand that is acknowledged and enforced by their channel partners/ marketplaces.”

There have been a variety of companies that are attempting to muscle in on Amazon’s supremacy in online retail mark places in the United States– consisting of the similarity Walmart and Alibaba– but for now, Amazon continues to be the primary game in town, Bell stated. (And no surprise there: one quote in 2018 was that it was hovering at 49% market share in e-commerce in the U.S.)

“Amazon has created the leading third-party seller market in an separated method,” he said. “Not just do they have the most consumers going to every day, however, they also have the most maturity around technical combinations, brand name securities, and a best-in-class satisfaction operation.”

He included that “Walmart is making great strides in terms of developing their seller services and technical integrations, and their announcement that they will be offering satisfaction for 3rd party merchants will assist substantially. I anticipate they will continue to acquire share, but they have a truly long way to go to overtake both customers and market sellers.” In regards to others, he also noted that “Google seems to buy their market, but we have not viewed as much traction there. Without an incorporated satisfaction alternative, lots of sellers would choose to use their Google advertisement dollars to send customers to their own page to negotiate instead of through Google’s marketplace. Facebook/Instagram stores have promise but still extremely nascent.”

Interestingly, the Perch proposal supplies a very various alternative to the e-commerce landscape that others see. Some like Shogun have developed their organization on a property that the only way forward is to move away from a dependence on third-party markets like those of Amazon, Perch has doubled down on it, apparently confident that it’s here to stay. And certainly, the bigger that Perch grows, the most likely it is that the bulked-up business has a possibility of having some negotiating power of its own.

“We have some sales through standalone brand websites, however, the large majority of our focus is on the market and we expect that to continue for the instant future,” said Bell.