We are thrilled to hear that Olsam is growing into the US! In a recent acquisition, Olsam snapped up the U.S.-based Flywheel Commerce. By doing so, they are contributing to all the rumblings you’ve heard about aggregator consolidation. We will see what happens next.
In the meantime, you can listen to our interview with Sam Horbye from earlier this year, and read the article below.
Olsam, who acquire and scale category leading ecommerce businesses, has completed the acquisition of the assets of Flywheel Commerce, a US-based ecommerce aggregator. The acquisition will help Olsam, which recently raised $165m, further extend its footprint globally, in particular across North America. Following completion, the brands of Flywheel Commerce will continue to operate in the US and by leveraging Olsam’s expertise as a UK acquirer, expand them globally, notably into the UK and EU.
This is a massive leap forward for the business founded by Sam and Ollie Horbye. Sam worked at Amazon HQ in London in their marketplace team managing hundreds of UK and EU Seller businesses and has started, scaled and sold his own category leading Amazon FBA brand. Ollie began his career in M&A at an investment bank before gaining his professional accountancy qualification at Deloitte. Together they started Olsam which has rapidly grown and with the Flywheel Commerce acquisition have opened up the massive US market to attack in 2022.
Globally in 2020, Amazon’s vast ecosystem of six million sellers generated over $300 billion in sales, growing 50% year-over-year. This grew again by 61% in Q1 of 2021, which would make this ecosystem the 42nd largest economy in the world. Firms acquiring successful brands on Amazon have attracted around $7 billion in capital over the past twelve months, with almost 3,000 sellers in the UK hitting $1 million in turnover. With more than half (53%) of product searches now starting on Amazon, compared to 23% starting on search engines, there is a huge opportunity to scale ecommerce businesses across global marketplaces
The market is still relatively young, and with a large influx of capital into the sector, this is one of the first examples of market consolidation in the Amazon aggregator space. Those that can leverage scale and operational capabilities to grow not just via acquisitions, but organically as well through international expansion, paid social, affiliate marketing and D2C, are more likely to succeed in the long run.
One of the brands joining the Olsam portfolio is Paw 5, the creator of the original Snuffle Mat. The products are manufactured by Ethical Apparel Africa, a female led NGO based out of Ghana that utilizes sustainable upcycled textiles. With design and utility patents in place, Olsam believes that by expanding the product line-up as well as by geography, Paw 5 can showcase the levers that the Company pulls across all its portfolio.