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Exclusive: Bonsai acquires German comparison shopping platform MyBestBrands

Apr 10, 2024
Illustration of three cellphones, each with a "like" icon, in a shopping cart.

Illustration: Victoria Ellis/Axios

Toronto-based Bonsai, a B2B e-commerce SaaS platform, acquired German luxury fashion discovery website MyBestBrands, CEO Saad Siddiqui tells Axios exclusively.

Why it matters: On its third acquisition, Bonsai says it's looking to draw private equity investors to its build-and-buy model.

The latest: Bonsai plans to begin "imminently" courting private equity investors, Siddiqui says.

  • "Our emerging needs are with people who've done a lot of M&A before," he says.
  • Our business "feels more like a PE scale business, certainly with the revenue profile, but also because of the nature of what we're doing. It's just a bit more classic PE," he says.

By the numbers: The MyBestBrands acquisition will nudge the combined revenue to over $30 million annually, the company says. Deal terms were not disclosed.

  • The company is set to be profitable this year, Siddiqui says.

Zoom in: MyBestBrands and the company's other acquisitions will be housed inside an umbrella company Bonsai calls Inspiration Commerce Group.

What's next: Bonsai plans to do two more acquisitions this year — one large and one small, Siddiqui says.

  • Bonsai may focus on expanding its geographic footprint via M&A, he adds, noting the purchase of MyBestBrands helps Bonsai expand into the European market.

How it works: Bonsai's discovery commerce technology allows users to purchase a product without leaving its webpage, providing publishers and retailers with "an improved revenue alternative to intrusive ads."

  • The company aims to "make it easier for merchants to interact with one party," Siddiqui says, similar to how Expedia has become a travel partner for different airlines and hotels.

Zoom out: Comparison shopping sites are still a large driver of revenue for merchants because they've built trust with the consumer, Siddiqui says.

  • They've become more prevalent with the challenges in the ad market where the cookies-and-attribution model has been threatened.

Catch up quick: Bonsai acquired Shop It To Me last summer and Stylight in December.

  • Bonsai raised C$21 million ($16.8 million) in Series A funding in 2022 led by Framework Venture Partners. The company has raised about C$40 million to date.
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