Booming year for eCommerce puts OnBuy on track for unicorn status

Booming Year For ECommerce Puts OnBuy On Track For Unicorn Status

Published 21st December 2020
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Online marketplace OnBuy, has set its sights on achieving unicorn status as it announces 605 percent year-to-date growth, rounding off a list of incredible 2020 successes for the company.

OnBuy is on a mission to revolutionise the eCommerce sector by providing a fair and transparent marketplace that benefits both buyers and sellers. The UK-based online marketplace has now set its sights on unicorn status, which is awarded to privately held start-up firms valued at over $1 billion (£750 million), within the next two years.

OnBuy is already valued at an estimated £180 million ($240 million) after launching only four years ago and, having achieved its third consecutive year of over 600 percent growth in 2020, the eCommerce business is quickly gaining market share.

OnBuy's founder and CEO, Cas Paton, who was awarded Founder of the Year 2020 by online media publication Just Entrepreneurs this month, commented: "Securing unicorn status is not an easy feat, but our success so far proves it's well within our grasp. In January 2020, our business was valued at £6.5 million ($9 million), but by March, within only three months, OnBuy was valued at £14 million ($18 million). More recently, OnBuy has been valued at over £180 million ($240 million), and so if we continue on this trajectory as we anticipate, the sky really is the limit.

"This year alone, we have seen sales on OnBuy soar from a run rate of £24 million to over £170 million. We've accomplished so much in the UK that I am entirely confident that unicorn status is within reach, especially as we are already underway with our global scale up that'll take OnBuy into over 140 countries before year-end 2023."

Alongside its meteoric growth, in the past 12 months OnBuy has:

  • Beta-tested territory specific sites in 42 countries for expansion of the OnBuy platform before the end of 2020
  • Secured £5m in its Series A funding round in June
  • Increased its seller base by 10 percent for three consecutive months
  • Achieved £2.5m in sales for its sellers on Black Friday alone
  • Scaled the OnBuy team by over 40 percent, to over 60 staff members
  • Won the UK Business Tech Awards' eCommerce Company of the Year award and Retail Without Borders' Marketplace 2020 award
  • Partnered with an array of leading eCommerce integrations and solutions providers

Cas said: "We've grown quickly over the last four years, but 2020 has skyrocketed OnBuy's expansion and we're now growing at a phenomenal rate. We're shaking up the status quo in the eCommerce industry with our fair and transparent model, and this year's success demonstrates how strong the demand for a marketplace like OnBuy is.

"With 600-plus sellers onboarded each month this year, we're on track to claim around five percent of the £84bn UK eCommerce market in the next three years. We're aiming for one percent of the $3.46 trillion global eCommerce market in the next five years alongside that."

OnBuy's 2020 accomplishments have been supported by a £5 million investment raised through a Series A funding round earlier this year, from leading London-based VC firm Fuel Ventures and other experienced investors, including Nathalie Gaveau, the co-founder of Priceminister, a premium French marketplace later acquired by Rakuten.

OnBuy investor Mark Pearson, CEO of Fuel Ventures, comments: "It's evident that OnBuy is on track to achieve further impressive successes in the coming years. Its accomplishments to date and year-on-year growth are remarkable. Cas and his team are beating targets and smashing their own records by the week. We are proud to be involved with such a dynamic brand and are looking forward to seeing OnBuy becoming a serious global player."

Following this year's investment, OnBuy has started an aggressive global expansion plan into more than 140 countries by year-end 2023.

OnBuy also launched its first-ever major national TV advertising campaign with ITV to coincide with Black Friday and the busy Christmas period, supporting its sellers during 2020's key trading period.

A successful November, helped by a recording-breaking Black Friday with £2.5 million in sales, boosted the company's year-on-year sales revenue by 870 percent in one month alone. This was achieved in part by OnBuy's price drop on every single product across the marketplace, at no cost to its sellers. OnBuy's fees were reduced for sellers over Black Friday and Cyber Monday to offer over £50 million in savings - an impressive initiative that no other marketplace has ever done.

To accommodate such rapid growth, the eCommerce business has quadrupled its workforce to over 60 full-time staff members. OnBuy has also just announced plans to expand its offices into Manchester in the new year, creating at least another 100 jobs over the next two years to accommodate its worldwide expansion.

Modified on 2024-05-30

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