Trust, Tech and Transparency: Elevating the Creator Economy in Ecommerce
By co-founders Brenton, Ruben and Alex
Last week, we had the privilege of announcing a major milestone - $27M in Series A funding from Norwest Venture Partners, NFX, and Concrete Rose. At Forum, we’ve spent the last year pulling together a tremendous team from across the e-commerce, technology, and consumer investing world to build the world’s most technologically advanced e-commerce acquisition platform. This announcement marks an inflection point for us as a company. We are well on our way to deploying hundreds of millions in capital to buy high potential brands over the next several years. With dedicated equity funding alongside it, we’ll be accelerating the growth of the team and the technology that have led us to this point (we’re hiring!).
What We Do:
Forum was born from the collective insight that it’s the inventive, passionate community of independent entrepreneurs that fuels e-commerce. Every year, over one million new sellers join the Amazon marketplace. If not for these entrepreneurs, platforms such as Amazon and Shopify would not be today’s most influential e-commerce companies.
We merge proprietary technology with deep operating and consumer investing knowledge to rapidly identify and acquire high-potential third-party Amazon e-commerce businesses. We provide exit opportunities to these entrepreneurs. And importantly, in the process, we work closely with these innovators and owners in search of fundamental truths that make us better partners and operators: who they are, why they’ve built their brand, what matters most, and what lies ahead.
We take these founder stories and the outstanding products behind them and scale the brands in our portfolio into household names. We leverage deep Amazon and omni-channel expertise, our technology, and over 60 million data points at our disposal. We operate in service of the customer, working holistically to deliver a great experience everywhere they shop.
Who We Are:
Our team is composed of former senior leaders at Amazon, consumer growth investors, and world-class e-commerce technologists who understand the e-commerce space and have quite literally built the platforms that fuel it.
Alex, our COO, is a former senior marketplace and technology leader at Amazon where he managed multiple $100M+ category P&Ls, launched global marketplace platforms, and developed the offline go-to-market strategy for Amazon’s first-party devices. Prior to Amazon, Alex was a key member of Target’s first omnichannel team.
Our co-CEO, Ruben has executed over 20 M&A deals and multiple large-scale consumer roll-ups, hailing from firms such as TA Associates and Credit Suisse. Ruben has extensive experience in the technology and consumer sectors, where he focused on growth equity and VC investing, platform M&A, and international growth strategy.
Brenton, co-CEO, has an outstanding track record as an investor and operator in the e-commerce and software sectors. Brenton is a former advisor and strategist to Fortune 500 consumer companies and was part of the founding team and growth engine behind Cove Hill Partners, a $2.6 billion PE firm.
Behind this team is a fast-growing organization that continues to raise the bar for curiosity, intelligence, creativity, and a commitment to transforming the consumer retail sector for decades to come.
How We Work:
As founders that understand the risks, dedication, and hard work it takes to build a business, we founded Forum with 3 key principles to support brand owners:
- Trust: We’re an executive team of former operators and investors that have managed 9-figure Amazon P&Ls, advised the world’s largest consumer packaged goods companies and executed more than 45 large-scale mergers and acquisitions. Entrepreneurs can trust us when we say that we know this space better than anyone. We can and will execute on turning their companies into category-leading brands.
- Technology: Our proprietary ML platform blends data science and software automation to pinpoint successful brands quickly. That technology coupled with our Amazon and investment pedigree enables us to assure founders that we’ve taken an in-depth look at their brand, know its full potential, and have a clear vision to accelerate and cement its legacy.
- Transparency: We acquire quality brands efficiently and quickly. In 48 hours or less, we decide whether we’d like to greenlight an acquisition. When we do, we pay sellers in 30 days and provide additional cash benefits through post-acquisition partnerships. Most importantly, we know these are life-changing transactions and take pride in shaping flexible deal structures tailored to the wants and needs of our partners.
We built Forum because we know what it takes to turn high potential brands into true multi-channel leaders. And thanks to our outstanding investor group - Norwest Venture Partners, NFX, and Concrete Rose - we’re able to reward their creators in the process. If you are an e-commerce entrepreneur, please reach out and share your story. We’d be honored to get to know you.