On April 18, Petsmart announced its acquisition of pet care e-commerce platform Chewy, for a reported price tag of $3.35B. The deal, if finalized, would propel Chewy to the most expensive e-commerce acquisition in recent history (since 2009), knocking out Jet.com, which Walmart acquired in 2016 for $3.3B.
Compared to Jet.com, which relied heavily on venture funding and raised $725M before its acquisition, Chewy had raised significantly less from backers including T. Rowe Price, BlackRock, Volition Capital, and several others.
Both deals highlight the efforts of traditional brick-and-mortar retail chains to build their digital channels, especially in areas that lend themselves to automated refill like CPG which was an early focus for Jet (Chewy offers a subscription option).
In third place we see Avito, a Russian online classifieds site. Naspers, a South Africa-based multinational media company, invested a $1.2B a corporate majority into Avito in 2015, valuing the company at up to $2.7B.
Rounding out the top five e-commerce M&A transactions are Alibaba’s 2015 deal taking a majority stake in Lazada, a Southeast Asia-focused e-commerce platform, which valued Lazada at $1.5B, followed by Amazon’s 2009 acquisition of Zappos. Amazon’s offer for Zappos was originally valued at $928M, but an increase in Amazon’s stock price before the deal closed boosted the deal value to $1.2B.
Dollar Shave Club, acquired by Unilever for $1B in 2016, is tied for sixth. Dollar Shave Club is the highest-vaued startup on the list to focus on its own branded goods, rather than operate as a multi-brand marketplaces.
See the full list below. Amazon and Naspers both show up multiple times as acquirers on the list.
|Top VC-Backed E-Commerce M&A Deals by Valuation, 2009 – Present (4/18/17)|
|6||Dollar Shave Club||Q3’16||$1,000||Unilever|
|9||Bluestem Brands||Q4’14||$565||Capmark Financial Group|
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