Olsam Group (“Olsam” or “the Company”), an ecommerce platform that acquires and scales category leading e-commerce businesses, has completed the acquisition of Colapz, a category leading UK-based camping and outdoor brand which sells patented, collapsible outdoor and camping products.
The acquisition is a key step for Olsam, which recently raised $165m, into the camping and outdoor market. Colapz’s team of product designers will also be joining Olsam as part of the deal. Olsam’s expertise as a UK based acquirer will help expand the Colapz brand globally, notably into Amazon US, EU, as well as Asia.
Globally in 2020, the camping and caravanning market was valued at over £32bn and is expected to be valued at £42bn by 2025 with a compound annual growth rate of 6.6% as staycations and environmental consciousness become a more definitive factor when choosing a holiday. The millennial population has been a recent driving force in the camping and caravanning market as the pace of innovation in outdoor products has increased along with the upward trend in the market for sustainable holidays.
David Fannin, from Colapz, said:
“At Colapz, the idea has always been to supply the camping and outdoor community with practical, unique, aesthetically pleasing inventions that solve problems in a system. The Dragons may have chosen not to invest, but what doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger.We took their advice on board and over the last six years we have created an industry leading brand. Testament to this was the overwhelming interest of buyers in Colapz. We chose Olsam because they are a highly competent team whose personability was always one step ahead compared to the competition. I’m certain that the Olsam and Colapz teams will work well together and help grow the business across the globe.”
Seven years ago, Colapz appeared on Dragons Den aiming to raise £150k in funding. The Dragons liked the products but were concerned about the limited IP protection. Taking this onboard, Colapz obtained IP protection and four years later, launched on Amazon. With the ever-increasing success of the brand and increased demand for camping equipment, global sales figures increased from £60,000 in 2018 to over £1.3m in 2021, as Colapz began to expand in the EU, US and Asia.
Olsam found that the unique product design is essential for the success of the brand. Thanks to their inhouse team of product designers, who will also be joining Olsam as part of the deal, Colapz has engineered a broad offering of essential camping and outdoor accessories that offer a more compact alternative to its competition. Its products also have a positive environmental impact, taking up less room at home, in the shops and in transit, creating a smaller carbon footprint. Colapz has a number of successful products, including the portable shower, the 2-in-1 watering can and the 2-in1 water carrier proving popular in Asia as Colapz continues to reach a global audience.
Sam Horbye, Co-founder of Olsam and former Business Marketplace Manager at Amazon UK, said:
‘’The Colapz product range is truly unique in the market and highly defensible thanks to its IP protection and unique designs ; the growth opportunities within this market are massive and we see the expansion to Amazon US, EU, wholesale in the Far East, as well as D2C, as the main growth levers. We also loved this opportunity because we recognised the skillset the Colapz team have, specifically in new product development and the use of CAD design software, used to create their product range – we’re very excited for them to join the Olsam team and to bring the best of British design to campsites, homes and gardens around the world’’.
In 2020, Amazon’s vast ecosystem of 6 million sellers generated over $300 billion in sales, growing 50% year-over-year. This grew again by 61% in Q1 of 2021, which would make this ecosystem the 42nd largest economy in the world. Firms acquiring successful brands on Amazon have attracted around $7 billion in capital over the past year, with almost 3,000 sellers in the UK hitting $1 million in turnover. With more than half (53%) of product searches now starting on Amazon, compared to 23% starting on search engines, there is a huge opportunity to scale e-commerce businesses across global marketplaces.