This Seattle-based e-commerce startup hasn’t raised any venture capital and just acquired in a nine-figure deal
A huge exit doesn’t always require venture capital money. This is what Pacvue has just demonstrated.
Assembly, the Los Angeles-based e-commerce software company, today announced the acquisition of Pacvue, a Seattle-based startup that sells similar B2B e-commerce tools.
Terms were not disclosed, but dot.la set the purchase price at nine figures. A spokesperson for Pacvue confirmed the purchase price was nine digits, but did not provide the amount.
Pacvue flew under our radar here at GeekWire, as he quietly made his way to a big acquisition. The 4-year-old company provides advertising and sales tools to online retailers selling products on Amazon, Walmart, Instacart, and other markets. Customers include Duracell, Keurig, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson and others. Its turnover has tripled each year since its launch and the company has 150 employees in three cities.
Pacvue is an anomaly in today’s startup world, where the path to exit often requires millions of dollars from investors. So how did they do it?
“We have never wavered with our mission and our vision for the company,” co-founder and president Melissa Burdick told GeekWire. “A lot of people take years to figure out what their product is or what they’re going to do. We had a very clear starting point for the product and the issues we were tackling. It helped us speed up as fast as we did.
The CVs of the co-founders and the complementarity of their skills were also a major asset.
Burdick previously worked for a decade at Amazon in the company’s retail and advertising teams. This gave him a unique insight into how brands sold products online. Pacvue was also one of the first software platforms to integrate with Amazon’s Advertising API and similar APIs from Walmart, Instacart, and others.
The president and other co-founder of Pacvue is Zhaohui Tang, who founded and sold the search engine marketing giant Ad Sage in China. He was also a Senior Group Program Manager at Microsoft, where he worked on Bing ad search algorithms.
“Zhaohui was able to scale a development team very quickly and have the perfect expertise to create the right product,” said Burdick. “We had a product in six months, we had customers and we were just off shopping. So we never really needed to raise funds. We were profitable after the first year.
Another part of the secret sauce, according to Burdick: “It’s just to have the best product, to take customer feedback very quickly and to innovate very quickly. “
Pacvue is one of the many ecommerce startups that provide back-end infrastructure for online shopping, including several based in the Seattle area, such as Fabric, Stackline, Shipium, Flexe, Stackline, FlavorCloud, Pipe17, Pandion and SoundCommerce. These businesses are profiting from the e-commerce boom driven by the pandemic as more and more people shop online.
Burdick will continue to lead Pacvue, which will maintain its product and brand.
Assembly provides similar tools to Pacvue but has so far focused on small and medium-sized traders.
“With Pacvue, Assembly is now strategically positioned to offer customers at all stages the software they need to grow their business. ” Sandeep Kella, co-founder and CEO of Assembly, said in a statement.
Founded in 2019, Assembly recently reached a valuation of $ 1 billion after raising an undisclosed investment last month. She has made five acquisitions to date.