While working with online assets, or while simply reading M&A news, one might hear chatter about business aggregators. Since 2020, Amazon FBA aggregators have gained media fame after this market has reached an estimated USD 14 billion, according to Entrepreneur. While business aggregation has been going on for decades, these “digital business aggregators” have seemingly come out of nowhere, all the way to mainstream prominence.
These eCommerce business aggregators buy proven companies with already-cultivated, organic audiences. In the same fashion, other types of aggregators have sprung forward to meet this market head-on. “Digital demand aggregators” acquire content websites which receive massive organic search, for example. In 2021, a startup known as TreasureHunter hit the “business roll-up” industry with this sort of concept. Today, this startup’s team is preparing to acquire blogs in various content realms from passionate content creators in an attempt to own more of the Internet’s ever changing and passively-profitable landscape.
“With TreasureHunter, we want to revolutionize the digital content segment and give small websites and blogs the exact tools, resources, and partners we could have only dreamed of back when we established our first blogs in 2013,” said Benjamin Schardt the Co-Founder & Co-CEO of TreasureHunter who started his entrepreneurial experience with his own blog.
The Business Climate for Digital Aggregators
Ecommerce boomed during the COVID-19 pandemic. Everything from shopping and learning, to communication and work, had to be done digitally without human interaction. It was during this time that aggregating firms like Berlin Brands Group, Thrasio, and Razor Group all led the way. These firms were established to purchase eCommerce businesses. Since then, these types of aggregators have found mainstream success.
The companies’ accomplishments have kept investors’ money flowing to digital aggregator businesses—especially Amazon conglomerates. In 2021, 41% of all U.S. eCommerce sales happened using Amazon’s exchange. Businesses like TreasureHunter plan to differentiate themselves from Amazon aggregators by buying digital property in places where eCommerce is influenced.
Website Aggregators Step into the Fold
Large corporations have been buying up smaller entities for years. But in 2022, the main difference comes from the fact that the environment has produced several of these eCommerce aggregators in one short span of time.
Digital roll-ups “are the aggregation of smaller companies into larger firms, creating a potentially compelling path for equity value,” according to TechCrunch. “…roll-ups often achieve much greater exit multiples, known as ‘multiple arbitrage,’ so it’s no surprise that the trend is making its way online.”
In TreasureHunter’s particular case, their team aims to take content websites to “the next level”. These content websites, for example, are travel, cooking, outdoors, and technology blogs. Aggregators like TreasureHunter will buy from or partner with DIY bloggers who are themselves backpackers, cooks, hunters, and/or technology experts. These individuals create content devoted to their individual passion(s).
Once acquired, TreasureHunter’s crew plans to work on the tasks that blog owners might struggle to capitalize on with their limited teams. Furthermore, aggregators will only succeed if their collective body is able to curtail operating costs of these blogs, increase ad revenue, and push out additional informative content. In part, the aggregators must assess and conserve the blogs’ special tonality and DNA post-transaction. Yet at the same time, these teams have to assess the most obvious challenges of the acquired sites, and work to create efficient solutions.
“We are leveraging the strong collaborations with respect to marketing, advertising, content management, and creating synergies between technology our teams are using to enable massive growth,” continued Schardt. “This is growth that would not be possible for the asset, stand-alone.”
Aggregators Look to the Future
With investor funding trickling in, teams like TreasureHunter’s are hard at work. The next step(s) include acquiring and onboarding their first blogs. But it won’t stop there. These teams must assess the positives and negatives of these newly-purchased blogs. Through such an assessment, aggregators can keep the processes that are working and find new solutions for tasks that hold these blogs back from their future potential.
While there is much work to be done, TreasureHunter’s unit is hopeful their exclusive aggregator business model will find future prosperity. While many firms claw for control of the influential Amazon-sphere, these other digital aggregators will plant their stakes in the online world wherever viewers are reading, engaging, and buying via digital content.
There will be much more to come, given the 32 million active content portals in the US and Central Europe alone. Companies like TreasureHunter are betting that there will be a greater need for online assets like blogs, content sites, and online portals. The growing need for these sites will exist well into the future–creating loyal readerships and higher online competition. If aggregation is the future for these online assets, the Internet’s users will begin to see a brand-new landscape unfold in front of them.