Profound Commerce is a brand holding company with an employee presence in the US, the Philippines, China and the UK. We implement leading product development, marketing and operational practices to help our portfolio companies profitably grow. Our executive team, investors and advisors represent many decades of experience in e-commerce, digital marketing and logistics.
We began our journey the same way as many of our entrepreneurs -- we jumped straight into deep end of marketplace e-commerce.
Our employees care about the details: whether pick / pack / shipping, answering customer emails, running growth tactics or pulling together great product photography.
We got our start like many of the marketplace brands we now purchase and scale; we saw the incredible ways marketplaces and e-commerce were democratizing consumer access to smaller brands, and dove head-first into the mix to obtain our "Amazon degree".
We purchased our first small brand in 2018. While others raised (and spent) billions acquiring ASINs, we toiled away at building our brand 'playbook': Growing on Amazon using paid advertising, bootstrapping DTC from Amazon, brand marketing and audience development, streamlining freight forwarding and inventory planning, and much more.
Fast forward four years -- with more than 60 employees, spanning 4 continents, our growing team of experts share the same excitement and curiosity about scaling e-commerce brands as the entrepreneurs who seek us out.
When they aren't launching new SKUs, members of Product Development share the latest BTS news and proper "finger heart" form.
Around the world, our team shares a set of values that describe who we are as a company, and how we fulfill our mission of growing e-commerce brands.
Be ambitious and unafraid.
We are all accountable for our success.
Collaborate and build together.
Ask why, because it matters.
Speak The Truth
Put honesty and transparency first.
Experts in e-commerce, digital marketing and logistics
Matt Howitt is a seasoned entrepreneur and executive with 25 years of experience working at high growth companies. Prior to founding Profound Commerce in 2018, Matt served as Vice President of Product for Convey, where he set the product vision and strategy for the company’s efforts to redefine the end-to-end customer delivery experience for e-commerce companies. Matt’s previous roles include serving as Senior Vice President of Product and Senior Vice President of Engineering at RetailMeNot, Development Leader of Business Process Management at IBM and Vice President of Engineering at Lombardi Software. He holds an A.B. in economics from Harvard University.
We are all-in on building a next generation brand holding company. I founded Profound Commerce because I saw a tremendous opportunity to rapidly scale emerging brands on digital marketplaces and to bring those brands to everywhere that consumers shop. Several years into our journey, I’m more excited than ever: about this opportunity, about the incredible brands we’ve acquired and built, and about the incredible team that we’ve assembled to realize this mission.
Nirav Bhagat co-founded Profound Commerce and leads marketing efforts for the company and its brands. He has decades of experience applying statistics, marketing analytics and strategy to help consumer brands grow. Nirav’s previous roles include serving as Director of Data at RetailMeNot, Engagement Manager at PwC, and various product, marketing and analytics roles at Capital One and Progressive. He holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago and a B.S. from Rice University.
We’ve been fortunate to partner with entrepreneurs with a preternatural understanding of their category and customers. They’ve been able to launch, operate and scale these brands by giving their customers what they want. This solid foundation is what allows our team to do its best work: coming up with and implementing creative growth strategies in keeping with the brand’s mission.
Foley serves as the Chief Financial Officer for Profound Commerce and leads the day-to-day operations of finance and accounting. Prior to Profound’s acquisition of the FBA Capital portfolio, he served as the firm’s Head of Portfolio Operations. Previously, Foley worked as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Penny’s Coffee, a café chain startup. Prior to this, he served as the Chief of Staff and Director of Marketing and Development for BBQ Holdings, Inc., where he worked alongside the CEO and COO in the execution of financial and strategic initiatives. Foley began his career as an M&A investment banking analyst at Lazard, where he worked in the Consumer and Technology sectors. Foley graduated from Dartmouth College where he received a B.A. in History.
Brad Buchanan joined Profound Commerce as its Brand Management Lead and is responsible for the operation of Profound’s portfolio of brands. For the majority of Brad's career, he was an entrepreneur who successfully owned, operated, and exited several ecommerce stores. He entered the brand holding company space after exiting from his own Amazon marketplace brand in 2019 and joined Amazon aggregator, Thrasio. Brad studied computer science at the University of Washington.
How do you gauge whether a brand has a moat on marketplaces?
Competitive positions on Amazon are constantly changing -- and it's hard to tell how long any moat might last. The ultimate moat is consistent and high search volume for branded keywords on Amazon. We also find that well-positioned brands on Amazon dominate top positions of highly searched organic keywords, have the highest or relatively high review counts, consistently obtain badges such as "Amazon's choice" or "Best Seller", and have a strong BSR ranking.
Kyle Lessmiller has been working in Amazon Ops and logistics for the last 10 years, while helping brands scale their overall supply chain operations. Lessmiller has worked with small start ups and larger Amazon players. He’s excited to work alongside a team of experts and partner with entrepreneurs to take brands to the next level. Kyle obtained a BS from Middle Tennessee State University.
For Amazon brands starting out, FBM or FBA?
There are advantages to both, but I would recommend starting with FBA. This allows your products to be automatically Prime eligible with higher conversions (and, over time, higher organic rank), with Amazon storing stock, shipping to customers, and taking care of customer service for you. You have more time to focus on growing the business through FBA.
Anna Bourland identifies opportunities for brand growth across the Profound portfolio by bringing new products to market. Her unique blend of digital product leadership skills were forged in the e-commerce, supply chain and marketplace domains. Most recently, she served as the first Product hire for Convey, a last mile delivery platform that was acquired by the largest SaaS supply chain visibility company in the world. She holds a B.S. from the University of Texas at Austin.
How does the overall Profound mission impact the way you think about launching new products on Amazon?
Profound Commerce builds brands and communities around those brands. That means identifying products that will fill gaps in multiple channels, not just on Amazon. Sure, launching a new ASIN requires a certain amount of Amazon-focused research, but understanding the broader market and your customer’s needs within that landscape is just as important.
Ion Escalante leads a team of world-class ecommerce talent based in the Philippines. Her team provides product development, marketing, analytics, and customer service support to Profound Commerce’s portfolio of brands. From a crew of four to 30+, Ion has grown the Philippines team not just in number, but in skill and expertise. Ion obtained a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature, Cum Laude, from Cebu Normal University.
Writing copy for geographies when copywriters live across the globe must be hard. How does the team do it?
It takes a lot of reading and research, for sure! However, there isn't a huge adjustment on our part because while we're located on the other side of the world, our culture (education, entertainment, etc) has been greatly influenced by the west. It also helps that we get some guidance from our US folks from time to time to make sure our copy is 'idiomatic.'
Sanford Wu is a seasoned investor and capital markets participant. He most recently was an investor at long/short equities hedge funds including 6elm Capital and Point72 Asset Management. Prior to that, he was in investment banking with Lazard New York and BMO Toronto. Sanford graduated from University of Toronto with a Bachelor's in Applied Science in Financial Engineering. He is a CFA charterholder.
What kind of brands is Profound Commerce looking to buy?
We focus on a handful of categories: consumer leisure and medical device brands. Within these categories, we try to find brands that meet a basic set of financial criteria, have great growth trajectories, and where the seller and Profound think we can extend the brand's platform after the acquisition. Building on the seller's efforts and leveraging our expertise, our vision is to grow brands into category leaders for the audiences they serve.
Marc Sourour is the Finance Lead at Profound Commerce, where he drives profitable capital allocation and decision making. Before joining Profound, he spent over four years leading strategy and business operations at various start-ups. Prior to that, he worked at KPMG where he built a team focused on delivering strategic profitability insights using data and analytics. He started his career in corporate finance at American Express. Marc's diverse background working with companies of all sizes and stages allows him to foster flexibility and adaptability throughout the organization. Marc holds a BA in Economics from Cornell University.
Aneesha Rao provides simple solutions to complex problems. Responsible for omnichannel brand building, Aneesha creates lasting marketing and operational strategies to transform and establish Profound's portfolio into beloved consumer brands. Aneesha has spent over 12 years building consumer brands, most recently serving as the Head of Marketing at Humming Homes and the Head of Growth at Coop Home Goods. She holds a B.A. in English from the University of Virginia.
What is the strongest indicator of a beloved consumer brand?
Traditionally metrics like retention rate, LTV, product catalog purchase distribution, brand recognition, etc. give some indication of a brand's consumer impact. Ultimately, my belief is that consumer brands improve consumer lives. So the real question to ask is 'how does a product improve a consumer's life, on a day-to-day basis, and what more can this brand do?' People who build consumer businesses are ultimately stewards of consumer sentiment. Understanding sentiment and building towards it is a hallmark of all great consumer brands.
Fabiano Moura is a digital marketing and e-commerce expert with over 15 years of experience in multi-channel and multi-attribution marketing. He specializes in paid advertising and organic growth strategies. Fabian’s areas of passion are market research, digital marketing, data analysis, strategy development, and multi-channel campaign execution within e-commerce. He holds a BS and MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Amazon sellers are a clever bunch. Have you seen any launch strategies stand out as particularly innovative or scrappy to rank an ASIN?
Yes. A mix of several strategies working together to generate sales velocity, reviews and awareness. When it comes to launch strategies and sales velocity, a diversified mix of traffic sources work best and having a quality product is essential. There are no silver bullets, but a solid product with a multi-traffic-source approach works best.
Joy Wilkes is a marketing strategist and storyteller. As the Audience Development Lead, Joy conveys each brand’s narrative and steers marketing efforts. She grows our audiences across multiple channels by leading brand marketing and content strategy.
Joy graduated from Anderson University with a B.A. in Public Relations and Marketing. She has worked with globally respected brands, including Gerber Childrenswear, Orian Rugs, and Teamson.
What do you see great brands do on social channels?
To be successful on social media, brands are engaging with their audience and offering value. From entertaining videos to inspiration to tips & tricks, great brands are enriching their audience’s life.
Particularly with lifestyle brands, our goal on social media is to show how our products can benefit our audience’s life. This ultimately aligns with internal audience development goals: brand awareness, generating leads, improving engagement, revenue growth, gaining customer insights, and more.