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E-commerce deal activity faded at end of 2022

Claire Rychlewski
Mar 28, 2023
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Axios Visuals
Data: Pitchbook; Chart: Axios Visuals

E-commerce dealmaking went out like a lamb in 2022, with only $1 billion spread across 77 transactions during Q4, a PitchBook report finds.

Why it matters: Customers didn't curb their online purchases in 2022, but rising customer acquisition costs and shrinking margins continue to cool the market, Claire writes.

By the numbers: Deal value fell 42.1% from Q3 to Q4 last year, while deal count increased by 51%.

  • Late-stage pre-money valuations fell 45.1%.
  • There were just five exits in Q4 of undisclosed value, down from seven exits valued at $400 million in Q3.
  • On the whole, 2022 saw 23 exits worth $1.5 billion.
  • "By comparison, the $1.1 billion in exit value in Q4 2021 nearly reached 2022’s annual total," the report says.

Meanwhile, consumers spent a record $1.09 trillion on online transactions in 2022.

Zoom in: The purchase medium and purchase venue segments of e-commerce raked in the most money with $447.5 million and $271.2 million in funding, respectively.

  • Post-purchase startups amassed $152.6 million in deal value.
  • Notable deals included e-commerce return service Loop Returns' $114.6 million Series B, purchase venue ConnexPay’s $109.8 million Series C, and payment platform Airwallex’s $100.0 million Series E.

The intrigue: The report highlights the growing re-commerce ecosystem, noting growing consumer appetite for secondhand shopping.

  • Brands are getting in on resale too, having increased their re-commerce listings 13% year-over-year, with a threefold increase in brand adoption, the report says.
  • Economic downturn will likely lead more consumers to the thrift shop, the report says.
  • The current climate will also likely yield dealmaking in the resale space, particularly as public markets remain difficult to access for larger players.
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