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Thrasio model: The new mantra in the Indian startup ecosystem

Thrasio model: The new mantra in the Indian startup ecosystem

The concept is new to the Indian startup ecosystem but has gained traction, attracted eyeballs and led to substantial funding into the companies linked to the model in the past few months

Indian startups enthralled by the Thrasio model Indian startups enthralled by the Thrasio model

One man’s gain can be another man’s gain too. For startups that are banking on the Thrasio model to succeed, that seems to be working just fine.

The Thrasio model has enticed a bunch of startups and venture capital firms in India. Around ten startups have said that they are associated with the model.

Ananth Naraynan’s Mensa Brands, Rishi Vasudev’s G.O.A.T. Brand Labs, Supam Maheshwari’s GlobalBees, Utsav Agarwal and Pulkir Chhabra’s Evenflow, Shashwat Diesh and Aqib Mohammed’s Powerhouse91, Nitin Agarwal’s UpScalio, Bhavna Suresh’s 10club, and Nishant Verman and Prasanth Nair’s Bzaar are all based on the Thrasio model.

The concept is new to the Indian startup ecosystem but has gained traction, attracted eyeballs and led to substantial funding into the companies linked to the model in the past few months.

Each company in the ecosystem has its version of the strategy of the Thrasio model and have collectively raised around $300 million in funding so far.

Also read: Unacademy raises $440 mn from Temasek, SoftBank, Tiger, others; valued at $3.4 bn

WHAT IS THE THRASIO MODEL

Founded by Joshua Silberstein and Carlos Cashman in 2018, Thrasio thrives on brands that sell on Amazon. The startup collaborates and acquires them. Typically, it buys brands for everyday products from small business owners for a purchase price of more than $1 million. Once it acquires the brand, it upgrades its marketing, product development and supply chain management.

In 2020, following this model, Thrasio clocked over $500 million in revenues and profit of $100 million. According to Bloomberg, the unicorn startup was valued at over $3 billion in February 2021.

Thrasio aims to use the money to ramp up its pace of buying third-party sellers that sell and distribute their products using the ‘Fulfillment By Amazon’ or FBA service. Thrasio has reportedly acquired nearly 100 FBA businesses.

THRASIO MODEL IN INDIA

Now, Amazon has millions of third-party sellers, which is only likely to grow in the future. More than 1 million sellers reportedly joined the platform last year. So, for anyone looking to adapt to the Thrasio model, now seems to be a rather lucrative time.

Also read: Upto $75,000 each! 9Unicorns launches fund for student entrepreneurs

Going with the tide, former Myntra CEO Ananth Narayanan’s Mensa Brands is likely to soon see an investment from Tiger Global Management, months after it raised its first round. The latest round of $20 million could value Mensa Brands between $400-500 million. True to its model, Mensa Brands aims to acquire fast-growing ecommerce sellers in apparel, home appliance, personal care and beauty space categories with annual revenues of up to $10 million. It has also signed Letters of Intent to acquire 15 companies.

Then there is G.O.A.T Brand Labs that raised $36 million on July 26 in its first-ever funding round from Tiger Global, Flipkart Ventures and Mayfield. Started by Rishi Vasudev, G.O.A.T. plans to acquire online sellers from Flipkart and Amazon. “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 G.O.A.Ts (greatest of all times),” said Vasudev in a statement.

Also read: G.O.A.T Brand Labs raises $36 mn in funding round led by Tiger Global

GlobalBees too recently raised $150 million in a mix of equity and debt in a round led by children’s retailer FirstCry. Lightspeed Venture Partners, Premji Invest, Chiratae Ventures, SoftBank and ChrysCapital participated in the round. The Thrasio-style investment venture is aiming to acquire 30-40 D2C firms in the next three-four years and invest $2-6 million in each.

And many others are talking to investors for funds.

PERFORMANCE IN INDIA

The roll-up ecosystem that has seen millions in funding is yet to see any actual acquisition. Most of these investments are driven by a growing market and investor acquisitions. In other words, all the money raised is based on promises and a solid pitch.

Nevertheless, these companies are roaring to rapidly buy online brands in the next couple of years. It must be mentioned here that while India has a huge retail market, and the online market is relatively small. Online, that appears to be the solution, could be a roadblock too, going ahead.

Also read: Tiger Global to invest additional $125 mn in Infra.Market