May 18th 2022–Delaware, USA–The simple private equity logic of buying related assets in a specific market and creating value through synergies and, in particular, valuation arbitrage is well known. It has long since found its way into the digital world as well.
An impressive example of this is certainly the Amazon FBA aggregator market. Companies like Thrasio in the States, or Berlin Brands Group in Europe, have raised more than USD 15 billion within just over 2 years. These organizations have bought thousands of Amazon sellers and bundled them into portfolios, thus permanently changing the e-commerce landscape.
So far, so good. What is new, however, are the roll-ups in the digital demand area. New companies have started to aggregate content-driven, high-traffic assets around blogs, web portals, and also social media channels to grow them cooperatively in a portfolio network.
Such companies ultimately create demand for specific product groups and typically serve through published product reviews, tests or comparisons. They then redirect the interested visitors on their portals to an e-commerce site. Oftentimes, visitors are sent to the aforementioned FBA aggregators who are increasingly dependent on buying external traffic streams due to the dramatic increase in advertising costs on Amazon and the high competitive pressure.
TreasureHunter is one company that is a leader in the demand aggregation space across both the United States and Europe. Just last week, this company closed its first funding round–securing USD 8.15 million.
According to co-founder and co-CEO Michael Fink, in the case of the demand aggregation, pure valuation arbitrage is far from the end of the story: “In particular, we are leveraging the strong synergies with respect to cross-promotion, audience exchange and marketing bundling between aggregated assets in a vertical to enable massive growth. Growth that would not be possible for the asset stand-alone.”
In addition to maximizing revenue and profits, TreasureHunter also focuses on so-called DNA conservation, which aims to ensure the uniqueness of each blog’s content, according to Treasurehunter.media. This is intended to preserve independent publishers’ brands in the long term and strengthen the plurality of the media landscape.
It will be exciting to see where the industry goes, given the huge market size–there are over 32 million active content portals in the US and Central Europe alone. Plus, the leaders at TreasureHunter feel the acquisition of content sites is far less risky a business model compared to the FBA market where aggregators rely solely on Amazon (or a single traffic source).
By Ryan Gallagher