June 6, 2023

Tricia Oak

Business & Finance Excellency

Private Equity Firm Advent Invests in E-Commerce Startup Assembly

  • E-commerce software startup Assembly is worth more than $1 billion after its latest fundraising round.
  • The round was led by a “significant” investment from private equity firm Advent International.
  • The new capital will be used to hire 200 people in the next 12 months and acquire companies.

Two years ago, Sandeep Kella cofounded Assembly with Adam Crawshaw partially because of the struggles he had with his own e-commerce business a decade prior.

The goal of Assembly, an e-commerce data and software company, was to allow small business owners selling things online focus on their product instead of the administrative work that comes with running an online company. Now, Assembly is a unicorn, thanks to a new fundraising round that brought the young company’s valuation over $1 billion.

The company declined to disclose the total amount raised, but private equity firm Advent International led the way with a “significant capital injection,” according to a release on the raise. Former investor PSG also invested in the latest round, the release states. 

The new capital will be put to use immediately, as Kella plans to nearly double his team of 300 in the next 12 months. He plans to hire 200 people, mostly engineers, and product managers as the e-commerce space continues to grow, in part because of the pandemic. 

In an interview with Insider, Kella said there are more than 6 million online merchants today, a vast majority of whom need help with software and data as it relates to payments, advertisements, and social media. Assembly has 60,000 clients, Kella said, and has completed five acquisitions since the company started in 2019 with “more ahead.”

The new capital will also be put to use in M&A, Kella said. In March of this year, Kella told Insider he is hoping to buy companies that help sellers advertise, use search engines and social media to help brand awareness, and coordinate with influencers. Among the companies Assembly has already bought includes Amazon-focused advertising and data companies Helium10 and Prestozon. 

Advent’s portfolio has several e-commerce plays already, including Amazon-seller Thrasio, which set a record in 2020 as the fastest start-up to reach unicorn status. There aren’t plans currently to connect Thrasio and Assembly, according to Advent managing director Eric Wei.

“We were attracted by Assembly’s long-term approach to building and acquiring software to help merchants of all sizes succeed,” Wei said in an email to Insider.

“The third-party seller marketplace on Amazon is massive – with 1.6 million and growing active sellers on the site. In a market this size, there is opportunity and runway for numerous businesses to support sellers and thrive.”