Maropost acquires Australia’s Retail Express in $50 million CAD deal

The deal marks Maropost’s second acquisition to date.

Toronto-based commerce and marketing company Maropost has acquired Australian point-of-sale (POS) software provider Retail Express.

The over $50 million CAD ($55 million AUD) purchase price consisted of an undisclosed combination of “cash and options,” which Maropost financed using its own funds and debt. The startup declined to share any further financial details about the acquisition.

Maropost CEO Ross Andrew Paquette said the startup’s acquisition of POS-focused Retail Express provides its existing customers with a “much more significant solution for their retail operations.”

The deal, which closed in late December, marks Maropost’s second acquisition to date. It also represents the Canadian startup’s latest move to expand its global presence, as Maropost looks to capture more of the market for commerce software.

In an interview with BetaKit, Maropost Chairman and CEO Ross Andrew Paquette described POS as “a main component” for Maropost, adding that the startup’s acquisition of POS-focused Retail Express provides its existing customers with a “much more significant solution for their retail operations.”

Founded in 2011 by Paquette, Maropost offers a commerce and marketing platform that helps direct-to-consumer companies with audience engagement, customer acquisition, and revenue growth. The bootstrapped startup’s software serves brands in a variety of sectors, from retail to media and travel and hospitality, catering to a list of customers that includes Mercedes-Benz, HP, the New York Post, Luxottica, and Shop.com.

According to Paquette, Maropost has three areas of focus: marketing, commerce, and service.

Retail Express is a Brisbane, Australia-based retailer-turned-retail POS software provider that was founded in 2006. The company serves mid-market and enterprise retail brands in Australia and New Zealand, offering POS, inventory management, order fulfillment, and reporting features.

“When I started building Retail Express, I wanted to regain visibility and control over my own retail business,” said Aaron Blackman, founder and CEO of Retail Express. “So I made sure that our platform has everything a commerce merchant would need.”

Under Maropost’s ownership, Blackman said Retail Express now has the chance to serve its community “in a whole new way.”

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For Maropost, the opportunity to acquire Retail Express’ customer base was enticing. To date, Retail Express has served 5,200-plus retailers and more than 45,000 users, processing over $50 billion in transactions.

Paquette said Maropost plans to leave the Retail Express brand intact “for the time being” and connect the firm’s software with its flagship Maropost platform.

Retail Express’ more than 60-person team will also join Maropost as part of the deal, bringing more POS expertise to the Toronto firm’s ranks and growing Maropost’s overall headcount to more than 300 employees.

Maropost previously acquired Australia-based e-commerce platform Neto for $58 million CAD in early 2021.

When asked why Maropost acquired another Australian company, Paquette said both Neto and Retail Express had “a lot of value” at the price it paid. The CEO argued that “valuations are getting absolutely out of control,” adding that he believes that both would have carried larger valuations were they based in North America.

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Moreover, Paquette said he sees Retail Express as “a really great partnership from a leadership perspective,” given that, like Maropost, it has also been bootstrapped and is founder-run.

Maropost is already working to complete its third acquisition. “Our real plan was to acquire three businesses in 12 months, and then be done with the acquisition side of things,” said Paquette.

The Retail Express deal follows a year of more than 100 percent growth for Maropost, which currently facilitates over $10 billion USD in gross merchandise value (GMV) annually, according to Paquette.

The startup has few Canadian customers, operating heavily in the United States, with a strong presence in Australia and New Zealand following its acquisitions of Retail Express and Neto. Paquette said Maropost’s goal going forward is to expand more into Europe.

In the meantime, Maropost plans to roll out some new features on the service side, including ticket management, live chat, chatbots, and knowledge bots and launch MaroPay, its new checkout experience, over the next couple of months.

Feature image courtesy of Maropost

Josh Scott

Josh Scott

Josh Scott is a BetaKit staff writer who loves to tell Canadian business and tech stories. His coverage is more complete than his moustache.

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