Sebastian Funke is the Co-founder and CEO of The Stryze Group, a Berlin-based firm that builds and acquires direct-to-consumer brands from outside entrepreneurs. The team at Stryze takes brands to the next level using deep domain expertise, manpower, and capital. Prior to founding Stryze, Sebastian launched and led several firms, including five companies in the e-commerce space.
Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:
- Sebastian Funke’s thoughts on the increased interest in private label brands and the future of the FBA market
- Why Sebastian pivoted to the Amazon private label space
- The difference between buying e-commerce brands and building them from the ground up
- How e-commerce entrepreneurs can effectively stand out from the competition on Amazon
- Sebastian’s advice to brand owners preparing to sell their businesses
- What differentiates The Stryze Group from other FBA investors?
- How to determine the right time to exit your private label business
- Sebastian shares what surprises him most about buying and building direct-to-consumer brands
In this episode…
Many entrepreneurs start private label businesses on Amazon as a side hustle to make some extra cash. However, as they continue building their brand, they are faced with some difficult decisions: whether to hire employees, when to expand their product line, and, most importantly, how and if they should sell their businesses.
With more and more Amazon entrepreneurs choosing to exit their side hustles, it’s becoming increasingly important for brand owners to prepare for a future sale. According to Sebastian Funke, the best way to position your business for an exit is to develop a consistent product portfolio and invest in your branding. So, what are some of his tips for successfully selling your private label brand?
In this episode of the Buy Box Experts podcast, James Thomson interviews Sebastian Funke, the Co-founder and CEO of The Stryze Group, about how to build and sell a successful brand on Amazon. Together, they discuss the future of FBA investments, Sebastian’s tips for preparing a brand for sale, and what makes The Stryze Group different from other FBA investors. Stay tuned.
Resources Mentioned in this episode
- Buy Box Experts
- Controlling Your Brand in The Age of Amazon: The Brand Executive’s Playbook For Winning Online by James Thomson and Whitney Gibson
- James Thomson on LinkedIn
- The Stryze Group
- Sebastian Funke on LinkedIn
Sponsor for this episode…
Buy Box Experts applies decades of e-commerce experience to successfully manage their clients’ marketplace accounts. The Buy Box account managers specialize in combining an understanding of their clients’ business fundamentals and their in-depth expertise in the Amazon Marketplace.
The team works with marketplace technicians using a system of processes, proprietary software, and extensive channel experience to ensure your Amazon presence captures the opportunity in the marketplace–not only producing greater revenue and profits but also reducing or eliminating your business’ workload.
Buy Box Experts prides itself on being one of the few agencies with an SMB (small to medium-sized business) division and an Enterprise division. Buy Box does not commingle clients among divisions as each has unique needs and requirements for proper account management.
Learn more about Buy Box Experts at BuyBoxExperts.com.
Podcast Episode Transcripts:
Disclaimer: Transcripts were generated automatically and may contain inaccuracies and errors.
Welcome to the Buy Box Experts Podcast. We bring to light the unique opportunities brands face in today’s e-commerce world.
James Thomson 0:18
Hi, I’m James Thomson, one of the hosts of the Buy Box Experts Podcast. I’m a partner with Buy Box Experts and the former business head for the selling on Amazon team at Amazon, as well as the first account manager of the Fulfillment by Amazon program. I’m the co-author of a couple of books on Amazon including the recent book, Controlling Your Brand in the Age of Amazon. Today’s episode is brought to you by Buy Box Experts. Buy Box Experts takes ambitious brands and makes them unbeatable. When you hire Buy Box Experts, you receive the strategy optimization and marketing performance to succeed on Amazon. We also support investors with due diligence services. Go to buyboxexperts.com to learn more.
Before I introduce our guest today, I want to send a big shout out to the team at GETIDA, a global leader in Amazon FBA auditing and reimbursements. GETIDA analyzes your Amazon data, reconciles your FBA inventory, and files claims for reimbursements on your behalf. To learn more, check out getida.com. Our guest today is Sebastian Funke, co-founder and CEO of The Stryze Group, a Berlin based firm that builds its own brands and acquires promising brands from outside entrepreneurs in order to take them to the next level, applying surprising deep domain expertise, manpower, and capital. Prior to Stryze, Sebastian founded and headed up several firms, including five companies in the e-commerce company in the e-commerce space. Sebastian, welcome. And thank you for joining us today on the Buy Box Experts Podcast.
Sebastian Funke 1:52
James. Thanks so much for hosting me today. I’m happy to be here.
James Thomson 1:57
Let me start by asking you, Sebastian, these FBA private label businesses are very much a hot commodity today. What do you think has generated this recent interest in these businesses? When these companies have been around since the beginning of the Amazon Marketplace nearly two decades ago,
Sebastian Funke 2:12
I think there’s several factors. Basically, first of all, I mean, one of the big reasons why investors jumped on that topic clearly was the role model by brazo. They are the first FBA roller business. And due to the tremendous success of this company, I think investors look more and more into this space in the past. And I also have this experience because in 2018 2019, I am already here in Germany trying to acquire companies. I went to investors equity as well as debt investors. And basically they told me we’re not interested why e-commerce investments were so 2010. And also they didn’t understand the business at all. But in general, the underlying assets, the FBA assets, the FBA brands, the FBA businesses, have always been interesting because they have a steady cash flow. In most cases, they are profitable growing fast. The business can be basically done from everywhere. And therefore it was always an interesting target for capital. Another point is, I think, in general, there’s a lot of capital in the market right now looking for interesting, cash generating yield generating assets. And therefore, I think investors thought of the blueprint, that there is a potential to invest money and get a return. And then there is enough money to do that. So now a lot of money is pouring in there. And not just the US but also globally.
James Thomson 3:59
So what do you think’s going to happen over the next couple of years as more aggregators continue to flow into the space, potentially more of the traditional private equity companies will get interested? How does that change the way you think about your own business?
Sebastian Funke 4:13
I guess it will be similar to a general like in the normal Market. Yeah. So there will be more specialization. Yeah, you might have people just in specific niches trying to aggregate businesses. There will be different kinds of classes, basically, ones which try to aggregate smaller businesses, maybe half a million a division and try to aggregate that to 20-30 million and sell it to the next level. They also might be done. medium sized players trying to aggregate players between five and 15 million and there’s very large players. So I think that’s one trend, which is going to happen and then the future. I mean, in the US, you already have a pretty pretty A very developed industry, I think this will also happen in Europe and Japan, South America, there will be more and more brokers coming to the market, not necessarily platforms, but also individual brokers, helping FBA players to sell their business as as best as we as good as possible. So I think like in every market, the market will be mature, the unfortunately the yields will go down over time, yes, but most of the entire market will be more professional, but also think that the sellers will get much better now because actually, the entire the entire FBA aggregator model enables now FBA sellers to have an exit. If you go three years back, there wasn’t an industry you created, you created an Amazon business in most cases, to have a side hustle to earn some cash. But in most cases, you didn’t sell it. And now, that’s, that’s what I’m telling everyone. FBA now is not just a possibility to make some money on the side or to have to be an entrepreneur. It’s actually a way to make a seven digit number through this. Yes, in a 12, 18, 24 months time frame. Which I think is pretty amazing because you also have an industry like you guys, you have an industry around helping FBA sellers, people who join the market to be successful. There are people who try to help you to find the right product. People tell you, I can help you to do advertising. How do you do the right Amazon, FBA, the SEO, all of that you have warehousing storage, you have such a great industry around that just has to start to execute way and build something up in the course of one two, even three years, you can have an exit of two or three, five or 10 million.