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Building an eCommerce Holding Company from Scratch, with Kelcey Lehrich

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In this episode, my guest is Kelcey Lehrich, Co-Founder and CEO of 365 Holdings, a vertically integrated holding company of DTC-centric brands. 365 has built a high-performing team of growth-minded professionals that makes an impact on the landscape of consumer brands. 

365 is built for the express purpose of being the long-term home for these “microbrands” (including Cultures for Health, Steel River, Alternascript, and Valley Food Storage) and enables these brands to see profitable, sustainable growth for years to come. Operationally, they accomplish this through a vertically integrated shared services model; fundamentally, they accomplish this through a company culture that embraces 365’s core values.

In my talk with Kelcey, we’ll touch on some of the brands that comprise 365’s current stable of holdings, the current and future challenges facing the eCommerce industry, and a few of the specific practices of their vertically integrated model that differentiate them within the M&A world.

This podcast is brought to you by Axial, (www.axial.net), a trusted online platform for business owners & their M&A advisors to use to safely and intelligently explore and execute capital raises, acquisitions, and exits with strategic buyers or professional financial sponsors. I am your host, Peter Lehrman, Founder and CEO of Axial. In every episode, we will explore the vast world of small business M&A. We will interview both the proven and emerging owners, operators, investors, and advisors whose strategies and methods have been put to the test. 

If you have enjoyed this episode, check out Axial.com for more. There are recorded Axial member roundtables, downloadable tools for dealmakers, quarterly lead-table rankings, and lots of other useful information. To join Axial as an acquirer, an owner considering an exit, or as a sales-side M&A advisor, you can get started for free at Axial.com.  Feel free to reach out to me directly at Peter@axial.net with questions, suggestions, or show topic ideas.

Discussion points:

  • Take us through your background and career previous to starting 365 Holdings
  • Some of the small businesses Kelcey ran early in his career
  • How did you stumble into eCommerce?
  • The evolution of consumer spending post WWII to today
  • How Cultures for Health can only survive as a niche eCommerce company
  • What are your metrics for purchasing companies?
  • Looking at cash flow, history, sustainable models, and other factors
  • The origin story of the name “365 Holdings”
  • Is there one area that you specialize in, post-transaction?
  • The “inch-deep, mile-wide” skills that 365 offers to acquired businesses
  • 365 teams are function-focused, a marketing expert does marketing for all the 365 businesses
  • 365’s experimental “EiR” (entrepreneurs in residence) program
  • Hot topics for 2022 from 365’s Annual Letter 
  • Is there a limit to how many companies 365 will own?
  • The process for keeping/selling companies within 365
  • Sign up for 365 Holdings newsletter for future updates

Resources:

Kelcey Lehrich LinkedIn

Kelcey Lehrich Twitter

Justin Scheef LinkedIn

365 Holdings Website

Ben Horowitz Book, “The Hard Thing about Hard Things”

Peter Lehrman LinkedIn

Axial Website 

Learn More About Joining Axial

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