Y-Combinator-backed tech startup Moonshot Brands emerges from stealth with $160M to build a founder-first, multi-brand e-commerce platform
Moonshot Brands, a rapidly growing platform that buys, launches, and scales direct-to-consumer and marketplace e-commerce brands, emerged from stealth mode today with $160 million in funding. The financing came from Y Combinator, Victory Park Capital, Liquid 2 Ventures (Joe Montana), Garage Capital, FoundersX Ventures, Outbound Ventures, N49P, KSK Group (Keisuke Honda), and the founders of the unicorns Hippo, Lambda School, and Shift.
Founded just last year by Allan Fisch and CJ Isakow, Moonshot Brands acquires high-performing Amazon third-party sellers and direct-to-consumer businesses on Shopify and WooCommerce. Moonshot Brands also partners with the most successful owner-operators of third-party marketplace businesses and direct-to-consumer brands. Moonshot then helps these brands achieve their potential through growth capital, data, deep expertise in operations, supply chain management, marketing, omnichannel distribution, and international expansion.
Before founding Moonshot Brands, Allan Fisch founded and successfully exited three companies (LeapPay, Mavencare, and the e-commerce site HomeSav) and co-founded Moonshot Brands with CJ Isakow. The duo met years back at Wharton School. Isakow’s experience is equally impressive; he scaled Shift.com to $100 million in funding, launched a private label Amazon brand featured on ABC’s Shark Tank, worked for the tech giant Airbnb and deployed billions of dollars while serving in the Federal Government.
With the addition of CIO Jesus Sotelo, Moonshot Brands is positioned to execute acquisitions of any size. Sotelo’s experience in M&A is considerable. Sotelo created a $4 billion portfolio of mortgage-backed securities and launched a $1 billion energy fund operation. While working at Bridgewater Associates, Sotelo managed a portfolio of over $150 billion.
Since its founding in 2020, Moonshot Brands has achieved a $30 million revenue run rate and continues to rapidly acquire high-performing Amazon third-party sellers and direct-to-consumer businesses on Shopify and WooCommerce with established brand equity. In addition, Moonshot Brands is building a portfolio of digitally native consumer brands and growing them exponentially by leveraging growth capital, data, and expertise in operations, marketing, supply chain management, and product development.
“Most owner-operators lack the infrastructure, tools, or capital needed to scale and compete at an international level,” says Co-CEO Allan Fisch. “That’s why we’re acquiring companies in growth CPG verticals and building a multi-brand platform that empowers founders to take advantage of larger opportunities. We’re equipping brands with everything they need to truly thrive: capital resources, proprietary technology, shared economics, and expert guidance in operations and growth.”
Unlike others that apply a templated partnership approach, Moonshot Brands forges seller-specific partnerships from equity deals to full-blown acquisitions. While many competitors take a victory-by-volume approach to brand aggregation, Moonshot Brands is focused on working with a small number of brands that grow into category leaders. Moonshot Brands’ founder-first approach is also uniquely attractive to sellers. By partnering with Moonshot Brands, sellers get fast, lucrative exits, the opportunity to continue growing their brand inside Moonshot, and equity to reap the benefits of future growth.
The e-commerce industry is undergoing significant structural changes enabling hundreds of exciting brands to be born on Amazon and Shopify every week. The pandemic drastically accelerated this generational shift to online buying. According to Adobe’s latest Digital Economy Index, global e-commerce sales will top $5.4 trillion by 2022. With significant investment capital, plans to expand to more than a dozen international markets, and expertise in omnichannel distribution and scaling e-commerce companies, Moonshot Brands is well-positioned for growth.
“Many of the entrenched advantages that market leaders in key verticals had in the past are evaporating quickly,” added Fisch. “We are witnessing a historical moment where smaller brands have the opportunity to usurp top dogs that have held their position for half a century or more. Moonshot Brands is essentially in the business of partnering with David to take on Goliath.”
“Brands are immediately more valuable inside the Moonshot solar system,” added Co-CEO Allan Fisch. “We offer partners equity in Moonshot Brands. We believe that visionary founders who have built strong brands desire upside on the growth of the businesses they’ve worked years to create. We have specifically designed our model to attract the highest quality sellers, who see the value of having a voice in their brand’s future and simultaneously achieving financial freedom. We’re building the e-commerce partner platform that we wish existed when we were selling our companies.”
Moonshot’s leadership team leverages the robust operating experience of seasoned owner-operators that have scaled and sold multiple e-commerce brands and technology companies. Moonshot Brands’ foundation is further solidified by the strategic acumen of financial executives that have managed multi-billion dollar portfolios.
“We started this journey as founders and operators of e-commerce businesses ourselves,” says Co-CEO CJ Isakow. “Our experience growing and selling our businesses gives us a unique understanding of the challenges and needs of operators. When owner-operators join our ecosystem, they know that the brand they spent years building is in good hands. We will continue to grow their legacy together beyond what they thought was possible.”
“Moonshot’s platform gives e-commerce founders their financial freedom while still having a seat at the table to continue building their brands,” said Don Richman, Principal at Victory Park Capital. “VPC is thrilled to be partnering with a company that puts founders first in the growth process
“We’re not here to participate in a land-grab or pursue short-term gains. Instead, Moonshot Brands is here to build long-term value and incubate the most loved brands of the future,” added Co-CEO Craig Isakow. “We couldn’t be more excited to build a multi-brand platform anchored in the spirit of moonshot thinking. We’re working with the best operators and best investors to solve big problems in a way that benefits all stakeholders.”