Alibris to acquire Amazon partner Monsoon Works.

February 23, 2010

ChannelAdvisor ChannelAdvisor By ChannelAdvisor

(Full disclosure – Monsoon is a competitor to ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO).

Amazon Strategies has learned that Alibris, Amazon competitor and partner, has acquired Monsoon Works.  Monsoon provides desktop software that allows mostly media sellers, but some EGM as well, to list and sell on a variety of marketplaces including Amazon, Alibris and more.

Alibris maybe a name you aren’t familiar with.  They operate an independent book marketplace that is stocked with literally hundreds of thousands of book sellers.  Amazon is very mainstream, but if you want a rare edition of a book or to get some textbooks, Alibris is usually a better choice.  Also, Alibris powers the third party book marketplace for Barnes and Noble (see here for example)  and many others.

Internet Retailer Magazine ranks Alibris as the 116th largest online retailer with $120m in online revenues. It’s not clear if that’s GMV or revenue, but if it’s revenue and they are a 10%-ish take rate, that would make them a > $1b marketplace.

Monsoon doesn’t publish any revenue data, but my best guess is they have about 300m+/yr in GMV going through their software, primarily in the media categories.

While I’m sure this acquisition isn’t hostile to Amazon in any way, it will be interesting to see if:

  • Monsoon continues to support Amazon
  • Amazon continues to allow Monsoon access to their APIs/marketplace
  • Alibris replaces their own software/APIs with Monsoon

I believe Alibris is one of the largest sellers on Amazon (the internet makes the lines of competition very confusing) so there’s that angle too.

In any case, congrats to Kanth and the team and to Brian@ Alibris for picking up a great company.  While we’ve competed with Monsoon on occasion we have nothing but the highest regard for them.

SeekingAlpha disclosure – I am long Amazon and Google. eBay is an investor in ChannelAdvisor where I am CEO.