eBrands, ecology and wellness focused marketplace aggregator, announces $50m in funding
Brand builder will use the money to develop its current portfolio and acquire new Nordic businesses for international expansion.
eBrands, which buys online direct-to-consumer brands and specializes in their development, has completed a new $30m funding round.
The majority of the equity financing comes from Varma Pension Fund, Rettig Group and Veikko Laine Oy in addition to Icebreaker.vc and other private investors. Nordea Bank and Finnvera are eBrands’ lenders and committed to support the growth. This takes the Finnish company’s total funding to $50m.
eBrands is the leading brand aggregator in the Nordics. It is run by entrepreneurs for entrepreneurs and will use the funding to develop its current portfolio and acquire new Northern European businesses with the aim of taking them global. Within it's first year, eBrands acquired 18 brands and is aiming to add 10 more to its portfolio during 2022.
eBrands' business is based on purchasing and evolving newer but already successful Nordic e-commerce brands and selling them internationally. Its business acquisitions focus on sustainability, wellness, sports and lifestyle products.
Erika Ottela, Co-founder and COO, eBrands, says: “We aim to raise the bar on sustainability in online eCommerce sales. Many existing platforms have a bad reputation when it comes to creating waste, but global searches on sustainable products have increased over 70% in the last few years. In addition to actions on our own brands, we have made it our mission to encourage every marketplace seller to start implementing sustainability actions, no matter how small they may seem. Small streams build into a big impact as the product sales grow.”
Ecology in the e-commerce environment is taken into account throughout the supply chain, where, for example, packaging materials and design can be influenced, as well as production methods, reducing the carbon footprint. The products of one brand in the current portfolio, MioEco, are manufactured purely by solar power.
A former Amazon entrepreneur Jonne Välilä, Co-founder and growth director of eBrands, adds: "This recent round of funding will help expand the acquired businesses to new marketplaces and, combined with formidable online sales expertise, will lay the foundation for rapid growth. A special brand for us is unique in design or intellectual property. We are investing in and building a consumer brand business and not another faceless portfolio."
Jonne goes on: “We are not bankers. We are a group of entrepreneurs and marketers working with entrepreneurs. Some entrepreneurs want to focus on other projects after the transition to business acquisition, while others will continue on the growth path with eBrands. Because of our strong growth, we are constantly in need of new team members, so we are happy when the entrepreneur continues with us. For e-commerce entrepreneurs we remove the day to day tedium of admin and enable internationalization.”
Robin Bade, CEO, eBrands, concludes: “eBrands has positioned itself as an accelerator of Nordic innovation, acquiring and growing brands that have a Nordic heritage or adhere to the typical Nordic values, such as products that are functional, minimalistic, natural and sustainable. The Nordic countries are proficient in product development and design, but the skill of commercializing innovations and exporting lags behind the rest of the world. The consumer brand VC environment is non-existent in the Nordics. eBrands adds value by providing the skills to drive global growth. In certain situations where the focus of the business is protected design and a unique approach to product development, we commit the entrepreneur to the organization for up to several years. We offer entrepreneurs a new model, giving them the ability to grow their business with us and claim the benefits of our joint efforts. This is how we guarantee continuity in product development. Special brands for us are unique in design or have other IPR.”