Building the Next-Generation E-Commerce Platform

4 min read
From Target Global with love: A retail powerhouse of the future

It feels great to finally come out of the dark! Today, Target Global is extremely proud to announce the public launch of Branded, a global company that acquires, accelerates, and scales high-potential e-commerce brands. The excitement comes not only from having conceptualised and co-founded Branded with two e-commerce and financial investment juggernauts, Pierre Poignant and Michael Ronen, but also from the results we’ve already achieved. In record time we’ve reached $150m in gross revenue, becoming home and partnering with some of the most successful sellers on Amazon and putting us into the 0.01% of top sellers on the platform!

Over the last 6 months, we’ve worked together as co-founders with Pierre and Michael, building the foundations of our next-generation consumer product company. With a team of over 100 people, a robust technology engine and over $150m in capital raised, Branded has quickly established the structure to thrive in the new retail paradigm, where online convenience and social proof in the form of customer reviews are the ultimate drivers of customer purchase behavior. And as e-commerce is global in nature, Branded has built an international footprint, with offices across North America, Europe and Asia. Powered by a team of senior leaders from Alibaba, Lazada, Amazon, McKinsey, and Goldman Sachs, Branded is poised to execute flawlessly, serving as the partner of choice for entrepreneurs worldwide to scale their consumer brands on Amazon and beyond.

Together in this journey, we are also very excited to welcome leading funds Declaration Partners, Tiger Global, Kreos Capital, Lurra Capital, Regah Ventures, Kima Ventures and Vine Ventures that co-invested alongside us, as well as legendary entrepreneurs including Marc Pincus (Founder of Zynga), Jon Oringer (Founder of Shutterstock) and a dozen other business leaders and former executives from Amazon, Walmart, Alibaba and Lazada.

Amazon: A ‘top 25 country’ birthing 1 million entrepreneurs a year

In the e-commerce world, Amazon is king. In the 25 years since its founding, Amazon has become the leading e-commerce marketplace in the US, with over 50% market share, and a dominant player in Europe, with over 30-40% market share in the countries where it is present. The global pandemic has given stronger tailwinds to Amazon, doubling year-over-year growth rates to about 40% and a total sales volume close to $500 billion – if it were a country, Amazon would be one of the top 25 worldwide by GDP. 

Amazon’s success can be attributed to their relentless focus on customers, delivering a superb consumer experience with a wider selection, lower prices, and greater convenience. Amazon has also made long-term investments in infrastructure, building a network of more 1,500 facilities totaling more than 300 million square foot of logistics space that today can ship more than 10 billion items a year. 

However, beyond the customer obsession and infrastructure, “something strange and remarkable has happened over the last 20 years”, as Jeff Bezos stated in his 2018 letter to shareholders. Sales on Amazon by independent third-party sellers (mostly small-and medium-sized businesses) have eclipsed sales from Amazon retail’s own first-party sales. Today, third-party sales represent more than 60% of Amazon’s overall volume and are growing at a faster pace. In Bezos’ words, “Third-party sellers are kicking our first-party butt. Badly”.

This is not a surprise. Amazon has invested strongly in a toolbox for sellers that helps them manage inventory, process payments, track shipments, create reports, and sell across borders. And, in 2006, Amazon launched the Fulfilment by Amazon (FBA) program, where sellers could leverage Amazon’s vast network of fulfilment centers to store, pick, pack and ship their customer’s orders, all for a predictable fee, regardless of where the item was shipped. These factors, together with a loyal customer base of hundreds of millions of customers that generate over 2.5 billion visits to Amazon.com (not including other Amazon sites), have resulted in one thing: it has never been easier to sell online. Under this favorable environment, entrepreneurship is flourishing. In 2020 alone, over 1.3 million sellers – double of the number of new businesses registered in Germany in 2020 – joined a community of over 9 million sellers worldwide.

However, the road for new sellers is not easy. Of those 9 million sellers, approximately 400,000 account for around 90% of total sales volume. In addition to being a community, the Amazon ecosystem is also a highly competitive marketplace, with sellers competing for a portion of the hundreds of millions of searches that customers make on Amazon.com, which is customers’ go-to destination for finding products in the US.

From 0 to 150 in 6 Months

Branded has been built on decades of combined experience as a seller, founder, and operator of some of the largest global marketplaces with millions of merchants and is looking to partner with and enable the most successful founders of high-potential brands on Amazon to scale their operations globally.

With over $150m in gross revenue, Branded has had a strong start, becoming home to some of the most successful sellers on Amazon, with a portfolio of several dozen beloved brands and over 700,000 reviews in the Home, Lifestyle & Leisure categories.

As part of Branded, we look forward to continuing to partner with stellar sellers who want to take their brands to the next level by joining a bleeding-edge consumer product goods company.

From Target Global with Love

We conceptualised and co-founded Branded in response to very prominent trends that we have seen in the last year:

  • Continued double digit growth of e-commerce, accelerated during Covid by consumers’ shift to buy all product categories online.
  • Perceived value of “social proof” in the form of customer rating and reviews. 
  • Empowerment of SME businesses to thrive in the digital era.

At Target Global, we see Branded as a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a digital-first retail powerhouse of the future. Partnering with Pierre and Michael, two of the most talented professionals in the e-commerce and finance sectors, is our strategy for the success of this journey.