Opontia Secures $ 42 Million to Buy More Ecommerce Brands in Eastern Europe, Middle East & Africa – TechCrunch


The Opontia e-commerce stacking game launched in June, raising $ 20 million in debt and equity to to acquire older small e-commerce brands in the Middle East and Africa. Today, the company confirmed to TechCrunch that it has closed a subsequent round, a $ 42 million Series A nine months after its inception.

Roll-up games are generally known to secure more debt than equity when entering into mega-spin deals. Opontia’s fundraising was the case, but the share between equity and risky debt is around 50% each for its Series A funding.

STV led the round, with participation from Raed Ventures, Global Founders Capital, Upper90 and VentureSouq. Angel investors Salman Butt from Salla and Wiktor Namysl from McKinsey Poland also joined. San Francisco-based venture debt fund Partners for Growth funded Opontia’s debt financing.

TechCrunch found that Opontia had shifted its focus on its target market somewhat. Although it was launched with its eyes on the Middle East and Africa, the company only made efforts in parts of the former (UAE and Saudi Arabia) while making significant strides in Europe. Central and Eastern, especially in Turkey and Poland.

“There is an opportunity there; it’s only not the biggest markets ”, co-founder and co-CEO Philippe johnston said when asked why Opontia was not in Africa yet. “Poland is six times the size of Egypt, for example, in terms of e-commerce spending. We are definitely going to Africa; we only do the biggest deals first. So if you have to prioritize, you go for the market that’s most important and then you go down. In terms of the biggest markets for us are Poland, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Nigeria, after that Egypt and Pakistan.

Most of the e-commerce roll-up brands we’ve covered – Elevate, Hero, SellerX, Tropical forest, Brands Una Perch, Berlin brand group, Thrasio, climax, The Rasoir group, Mark, Benitago, Valoreo – use a similar playbook where Amazon merchants are the trap.

In the areas where these companies operate, Amazon is a ubiquitous marketplace that sells goods and uses its fulfillment arm and Prime service as the infrastructure to fulfill orders.. Roll-up companies convince small players in the Amazon marketplace to sell their brands, thus consolidating them into a single brand and running their operations.

Manfred Meyer and Philip Johnston (co-CEO)

Opontia does however have a slight operational and geographic difference. According to the founders of Opontia, while Thrasio, Berlin Brands, Branded are concentrated in Western Europe, Opontia found an opening in the targeting of brands in Eastern and Central Europe.

In addition, none of these players, with the exception of Opontia, is active in the Middle East. And unlike the larger players, Opontia pursues an omnichannel model instead of a singular model targeting principally “FBA” – realization by Amazon – companies.

I think when one of our unique values ​​is that we build like a house of brands on our omnichannel configuration. So compared to Thrasio, who is fully By focusing on Fulfillment by Amazon, we are focusing on three different sales channels: Marketplace, Website, Shopify and Social Commerce,”Co-founder and co-CEO Manfred meyer noted.

“So our acquisitions are now 50% in the market, but 50% in the market and Shopify. What we do is like really like building a setup where you can serve all customers directly, not just on the Amazon Marketplace.

When the founders spoke to TechCrunch in June, they mentioned that Opontia was in talks with “over 100 small e-commerce brands” and claimed to have signed multiple condition sheets..

He has since bought four brands, including Novimed, a United Arab Emirates-based direct-to-consumer company that sells medical equipment and therapeutic products. And since the acquisition of Novimed in August, Opontia has said it has quadrupled the brand’s revenue and doubled its profits.

“Opontia exists because we realized that there are many e-commerce entrepreneurs in CEEMEA who have developed their brands to some point but now need help taking it to the next level,” the founders said in an email response explaining why brands see becoming acquired by Opontia as a viable option. “We’re giving the founder an attractive exit, while also giving him a share in the brand’s future profit growth as we grow it. quickly, ”

The company said it wanted to acquire 20 more brands in Central and Eastern Europe and the Middle East in six months. Johnston said at least two-thirds of the Series A investment, or roughly $ 30 million, will be to be used to make these acquisitions.

Opontia has also hired a former Jumia Kenya executive as vice president of operations, who will be responsible for the company’s efforts in Africa with the hope of establishing offices in Egypt and Nigeria, in addition to those of Istanbul, Warsaw, Saudi Arabia and the UNITED ARAB EMIRATES.

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