The Mothership is the latest aggregator to gain additional funding. They are focusing on acquiring brands with which people have “an emotional connection.”

  • London-based aggregator The Mothership just raised $22 million in a mix of equity and debt.
  • It is the latest in a line of aggregators luring record volumes of investor cash.
  • Check out the 23-slide pitch deck it used to raise the fresh funds below.

    A startup that buys and scales sustainable Amazon brands has raised $22 million in its first round of external investment as demand for top sellers continues to intensify.

    London-based The Mothership is the latest in a string of aggregators – or rollups – to secure funding in recent months. Earlier this month, Swiss aggregator Flummox landed $13 million while Dutch startup Accel Club raised $170 million in November.

    Aggregators acquire third-party sellers on Amazon that use the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) service to store, process, and ship goods. Brands are then operated under one umbrella company, and successful brands are often launched on other marketplaces or direct to the consumer via Shopify.

    The sector has drawn over $14 billion from investors since it emerged in 2020, according to data from Marketplace Pulse, which also stated that 60,000 Amazon sellers topped $1 million in revenue in 2021.

    Ben Fletcher, the CEO and cofounder of The Mothership, said the brands it acquires doesn’t need to have sustainability at their core but that the business will look to swap out materials, change the packaging and shift to low-carbon shipping.

    The startup is more interested in “areas where people have an emotional connection,” such as health, fitness, beauty, home, garden, pets, and children.

    “These are areas where, if people love the product, they’re more likely to recommend it to other people, they’re more likely to keep buying it,” Fletcher told Insider.

    The Mothership plans on becoming a B Corp and will put 20% of the company’s equity into a foundation that will pursue sustainability and social mobility initiatives, the cofounder added.

    The company currently owns three brands and hopes to acquire up to six more with the latest tranche of funding, which was a private round with a mixture of debt and equity from a family office and a series of angel investors.

    Fletcher and his cofounders opted for a smaller round after seeing players who rapidly scaled, raised, and acquired brands begin to struggle as e-commerce slowed when pandemic restrictions eased.

    “It’s been compounded by supply chain problems and increases in shipping costs; all this stuff that chips away,” he said. “It’s not like a software play where you’ve got massive margins, your margins are quite tight.”

    The Mothership CEO said it made sense for the startup to do a “smaller fundraise” in order to give itself the “flexibility to experiment.” He added that “the bigger numbers wouldn’t have helped” as he first wants to build credibility.

    As the fragmented European ecosystem becomes more saturated, aggregators are looking past Amazon to other platforms such as Shopify and Walmart. The Mothership is interested independent e-commerce businesses as well as Amazon-native sellers, all earning between $500,000 and $2 million before deductions.

    The fresh funding will fuel new acquisitions, increase its 14-strong team by 25, and improve its software layer used for everything from finding acquisition targets to tweaking product pricing.

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