Retail and Direct To Consumer

Heyday Bags $70M Series B To Acquire, Incubate Marketplace-Native Brands

After coming onto the digital marketplace scene last November as a new player, Heyday is back with a $70 million Series B round of funding.

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Sebastian Rymarz and Adam Gerchen co-founded San Francisco-based Heyday last August to accelerate consumer products brands. The company partners with entrepreneurs to acquire, launch and incubate brands, and is developing a marketplace-native technology, data and operations stack.

General Catalyst is doubling down on the company, leading the new financing after being involved in its $175 million Series A round. The firm is joined by existing investors including Khosla Ventures and Arbor Ventures, as well as Heyday’s entrepreneur partners. The new investment brings the company’s total fundraising to more than $250 million, according to Crunchbase data.

The new funding round was driven by speed, Rymarz told Crunchbase News. Since emerging from stealth last November, Heyday has grown to more than 100 employees and crossed $100 million in revenue, he said.

“Acquiring and incubating brands takes capital,” he added. “We got through our initial funding and wanted to turbocharge our growth.”

Although Rymarz didn’t disclose how many brands the company has acquired so far, he did say the funding would be invested into bringing more brands on its marketplace, through either partnership, acquisition or incubation.

Growth

The marketplace aggregator industry is heating up as more players come in and are attracting capital. Last week, e-commerce platform Acquco raised $160 million in Series A funding to acquire and scale Amazon third-party sellers to be the next generation of retail brands.

Just prior to Acquco’s announcement, Germany-based Razor Group announced $400 million in equity and debt funding, while Berlin Brands Group, also from Germany, announced $240 million in debt financing. All join a long string of aggregators attracting capital.

While that may seem like a crowded space, there is plenty of opportunity to build brands, according to Rymarz. He said that Amazon’s marketplace is $300 billion and growing with more than 2 million merchants.

However, Rymarz sees Heyday operating differently than its peers. He considers the company as part of a broader ecosystem that is not just acquiring businesses, but also helping founders turn their vision into a company.

Indeed, Rymarz is looking long term at what Heyday will look like, even 25 years from now. Although there is a massive market at play, he expects it to be a competitive one, but having its platform in place will give Heyday an edge.

“There are giant companies, like P&G and Unilever, but the digital realm doesn’t have companies like that right now, and that is the opportunity,” he added. “Heyday is a brand that speaks to the entrepreneur, not a consumer brand. We don’t want to make it about account aggregation, but about brand acceleration. We want to be more than a marketplace.”

Board member breakdown

In addition to the investment, Brandless co-founder Tina Sharkey joined Heyday’s board of directors. Sharkey and Ido Leffler co-founded the direct-to-consumer household items company in 2016 and have gone on to raise $292.5 million in total known venture capital, according to Crunchbase data.

Heyday’s “chapter one” was combining and curating a portfolio of brands in a short period of time, according to Sharkey, who called it a “major feat of speed and Olympic-level athleticism.”

The company’s next chapter will be about acceleration and about being in the right place at the right time.

“With real estate, it is about location, location, location, and it also is with brands that were born to be digital,” Sharkey said in an interview. “This is where people are shopping. On the surface, Heyday is building remarkable brands that consumers love, but below the water is all of the back-end technology, stack, data, operations and logistics. All of these brands will be omnichannel, and consumers will be able to discover them all because of the relationships brands will make with customers in ways they weren’t in before.”

Illustration: Dom Guzman

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