Thrasio, an e-commerce startup that buys Amazon businesses, files for bankruptcy after raising $3.4 billion in funding

Thrasio, the Medfield, Massachusetts-based tech startup renowned for its Amazon business acquisitions, has filed for bankruptcy protection under Chapter 11 in a New Jersey court. The move, as reported by CNBC, comes as a significant twist in the journey of the six-year-old company.

In an attempt to navigate through the storm, Thrasio disclosed a strategic move aimed at alleviating its financial burdens, with an agreement to slash approximately $495 million off its debt. Moreover, the company revealed a lifeline from its creditors, committing up to $90 million in fresh capital. This injection of funds is earmarked for sustaining ongoing operations and bolstering the management of brands within its expansive portfolio, CNBC reported.

The news marks a stark contrast to Thrasio’s narrative just a couple of years ago. In 2020, we wrote about the startup after it raised $260 million in Series C funding led by Advent International, a heavyweight in the global private equity realm.

At the time, Thrasio’s valuation soared to $1 billion pre-money, propelling it into the elite league of profitable unicorn startups in record time. Thrasio has raised a total of $3.4B in funding over 12 rounds, according to data from CrunchBase. Despite the challenging circumstances, Thrasio CEO Greg Greeley expressed optimism about the prospects of the company.

“Thrasio is one of the largest third-party sellers on the Amazon marketplace, and with a strengthened balance sheet and new capital, we will be better equipped to support our brands, scale our infrastructure, and enable future opportunities,” Greeley said in a statement.

However, the Amazon aggregator landscape has encountered turbulence of late. Once seen as a goldmine for investors, the frenzy surrounding third-party seller rollups has cooled. Factors such as the waning impact of the pandemic, decelerating e-commerce growth, and economic uncertainties have contributed to the dampening of investor enthusiasm.

Thrasio, once a prominent player ranked 40th on CNBC’s 2022 Disruptor 50 list, had previously garnered substantial investments totaling $3.4 billion. Plans for a public listing through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) were put on ice due to intricate auditing procedures, as reported by CNBC.

The company’s woes didn’t stop there. In 2022, it was forced to implement significant layoffs, affecting around 20% of its workforce, alongside the departure of key executives, including co-founder Josh Silberstein. The reins of leadership passed to Greg Greeley, a seasoned Amazon veteran with a rich history of steering the tech giant’s Prime loyalty program.

Founded in 2018 by Carlos Cashman and Joshua Silberstein, Thrasio originally emerged as a savior for Amazon’s third-party private label businesses, integrating over 40 entities into its robust operating framework. The allure of the Fulfilled by Amazon (FBA) ecosystem proved to be a double-edged sword—while it served as a launchpad for brand success, it also presented challenges as these niche brands matured into sizable ventures, grappling with complexity and capital constraints, ultimately driving many sellers to seek exit strategies.

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