OnBuy Marketplace Could Become a Billion Dollar “Unicorn”


An online marketplace run by Poole aims to become a commercial “unicorn” after reporting 605% growth in the year to date.

OnBuy was created as an alternative to sites like Amazon Marketplace and is valued at around £ 180 million, or US $ 240 million, after four years.

It aims to be declared a unicorn – a private start-up worth more than US $ 1 billion – within two years.

Founder and CEO Cas Paton was named Founder of the Year 2020 by online publication Just Entrepreneurs this month.

He said: “Achieving unicorn status is no easy task, but our success so far proves it is within our grasp. In January 2020 our business was valued at £ 6.5million ($ 9million), but in March OnBuy was valued at £ 14million ($ 18million).

“More recently OnBuy was valued at over £ 180million ($ 240million), and so if we continue on this trajectory as we anticipate, the sky is really the limit.

“This year alone we have seen sales on OnBuy skyrocket from an execution rate of £ 24million to over £ 170million. We have accomplished so much in the UK that I have no doubts that unicorn status is within reach, especially as we are already undergoing a global rollout which will bring OnBuy into over 140 countries before the end of 2023. ”

The company has tested websites for 42 other countries over the past 12 months, secured £ 5million in Series A funding and increased staff by over 40% to over 60 people.

Mr. Paton said, “We have grown rapidly over the past four years, but 2020 has skyrocketed OnBuy’s expansion and we are now growing at a phenomenal rate. We are shaking up the status quo in the e-commerce industry with our fair, transparent and ethical model, and this year’s success demonstrates just how strong the demand for a marketplace like OnBuy is.

“With over 600 on-board sellers every month this year, we’re on track to claim around five percent of the UK’s £ 84 billion e-commerce market over the next three years. At the same time, we are targeting 1% of the global e-commerce market of $ 3.46 trillion over the next five years. ”

OnBuy’s £ 5million investment earlier this year came from London-based venture capital firm Fuel Ventures and other investors including Nathalie Gaveau, co-founder of Priceminister, a French marketplace later acquired by Rakuten.

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