Forum Features: Prosper 2023
We’re back from Prosper 2023! Our President Ruben Amar shared his takeaways from the show and his thoughts on the direction of our industry.
Tell us about the mood at the show.
The atmosphere was positive and energetic. Everyone was there to get business done and meet new partners. The ratio of acquirers, to service providers, to sellers changed quite a bit from previous years. Prosper 2021 was all about acquirers and the boom in the market, 2022 was a bit of a pivot for both acquirers and sellers, both adapting to macroeconomic and market changes. This year we saw a rise in software solutions and service providers, an indication that all of the players in our space are really focused on where and how they can make their business better.
What’s top of mind for acquirers and service providers?
Acquirers are still adapting to this macroeconomic environment, both internally within their organizations and externally in their investment cadence and strategy. They’re now focused on effectively creating value within their portfolio of brands.
Software platforms and service providers are bullish on the prospects for their businesses, particularly as almost all of the players in our space look for an edge to boost profitability and efficiency.
How have sellers adapted to our current economic environment?
Diversification is everything. Consumers have returned to brick-and-mortar stores and shop on entirely new digital marketplaces and platforms. Amazon sellers are rushing to match this change in behavior. As a result, they’re pushing hard to make their brands truly omnichannel faster than they may have expected. This takes investments in the right talent and infrastructure.
There is some significant economic relief for sellers, with supply chain pressure easing up and container prices falling.
What are sellers looking for in a buyer?
After Prosper 2022, I wrote about how sellers were evaluating exit opportunities differently. The size of a payout was no longer the most important factor, instead sellers were focused on working with acquirers they could trust to close deals post-LOI.
Today, the reputation and reliability of potential acquirers matters more than ever for sellers evaluating an exit. They simply can’t afford to spend time and effort on a lengthy diligence process, only for the deal to collapse at the last minute. Sellers want a team that can deliver an efficient close process, with the operational expertise and capability to grow a brand beyond Amazon and meet consumers everywhere they shop.
What is most important for sellers today?
It’s all about better operating efficiencies and processes to get through this macroeconomic environment. For the seller community, that means improving margins and expanding cash flow.