Rocketlane CEO

 Founder Spotlight

Yoni Mazor of GETIDA

Want to know what it is really like to start a company? In our Founder Spotlight series we have candid conversations with real founders about the good, bad and ugly of getting your hands dirty and building a business.

Meet Yoni Mazor of GETIDA. GETIDA is a world-class industry leader in Amazon FBA Auditing and Reimbursements. Their auditing technology puts a great focus on discovering and resolving logistical and financial discrepancies in a relentless effort to reconcile every single transaction. We had the opportunity to speak with their Co-Founder, Yoni, to learn more about his passion for e-commerce, FBA discrepancies and music. Learn more about GETIDA and their game-changing solutions.

What’s your story? How did you get here?

GETIDA Co-Founder Max Borin and I spent nearly a decade successfully navigating the pitfalls and intricacies of the ever-changing Amazon Marketplace structure. As sellers we realized what a minefield selling on Amazon can be! When we hit challenges we created a solution and we solved the issue ourselves, and that opened up opportunities to solve these problems for others. 

I was born and raised in Israel in an area close to Tel Aviv. My mother is American, but she moved to Israel for university and then she and my father found love and got married and she stayed there ever since. When I turned 22, after I finished my military service in Israel where I served in the special Navy intelligence in the Israeli Defense Forces, I moved to the United States. I went to school in America, eventually met my wife and I fell in love and got married. I almost did the same thing my mother did, but the opposite direction.

Over a decade ago, I was working for a sales and distribution company for nutrition and supplements in the New York tri-state area. That was the early dabbling that I had with e-commerce and selling products online, especially on Amazon. At this time I met a friend that was doing accounting for a furniture company. We were both very interested in the power of e-commerce and all the stuff you can put online to generate sales and make a business. We had a real passion for it. We both had our own experiences selling stuff on eBay, so we teamed up. While still working our other jobs, we started selling anything that we could get our hands on on eBay. 

In 2013, we started selling on Amazon and the business grew very quickly from zero to 20 million in revenue. Then we became a part of a larger group. Together as a group, we were generating about 100 million in revenue. Our business model was based on utilizing Amazon fulfillment and logistics progress. When you sell on Amazon, logistically speaking you have two options. The first option is that you have your own warehouse, and then you store the goods and the inventory and then as the orders come in from the marketplace, you pick and pack the unit, then ship it out and you do your own fulfillment. That’s one option and we did that: we always had our own warehouse, but it was not big. It was pretty modest to a degree.

Then, the second option is what they call FBA, Fulfilled by Amazon, where you can send your inventory in bulk to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, and they pick and pack and fulfill the orders as they come in from the marketplace and you can do it at scale on a global level. Once we tapped into that program, we were really able to leverage Amazon’s skill and instead of us having a $100 million facility or a $50 million facility, we just used Amazon’s multibillion dollar global presence facilities, as well as their software and automation.

What problem are you trying to solve?

When companies send inventory to Amazon’s fulfillment centers, what happens is some of that inventory gets lost, damaged, destroyed, or disappears and businesses are often overcharged with fees. On an annual basis these discrepancies, what we call FBA discrepancies, can equate anywhere between 1% all the way up to 3% of revenue. So when we were doing about a million a year, we had to recover and audit and reconcile and recover 1% to 2%.

Amazon has a protocol for this. Once you find this discrepancy, you open a case with them, you present all the information and then they activate their insurance policy and they provide you with the reimbursement or refund for all these issues. If you’re doing one million a year, that’s about $30,000 a year. We were part of a larger group doing $100 million a year. It was one to two million a year that we had to constantly audit, reconcile and recover for all these discrepancies

We had so much data to process that we were not able to use spreadsheets and excel anymore because the spreadsheets were breaking due to so much data and so much input. That pushed us to create two things. The first thing was to create a technology and a software to audit all this massive amount of data constantly in scale. The second thing was to create a dedicated team to keep tackling and solving the issue. So in other words, we created the solution for ourselves. So once we did that, and we told our friends from the industry that we had these capabilities, they all asked if they could pay us to help them.

When you went out for initial funding, how many pitches did you have to give?

We had bootstrapped and funded the whole ride when someone came in as investment CEO. We mostly wanted him for the CEO position for the leadership, but he wanted to have a bigger stake. So we sold some of our shares.

Since he came in, things really kicked into an even faster gear, even though we were already pretty robust. We did eventually partner with a private equity group. That changed the dynamic and what happened was every week, we were being courted by all these VCs and private equities and banks.

It’s definitely not the traditional route. We’ve been profitable since day one, and once again, for us it was more about partnering with the right organization to help us become more world class and help us expand internationally, to become really a true multinational organization, because we have a global mission. Amazon sellers are based all over the world. You know, there are sellers that sell on Amazon US but we have also sold on Amazon Canada, Mexico, UK, European Union – we cover all these marketplaces. 

We had all these investors call us and reach out. We had a lot of meetings, and eventually we felt that we found a very strategic partner that would align to our ethos or our mission statement, and provide us with the right type of structure and platform to really expand beyond our wildest dreams.

What keeps you up at night?

My kids. I have a young baby and four kids total.

Would you consider yourself a risk taker?

Yes, but calculated risk. I used to be Navy intelligence back in the day. So it’s about collecting as much data and information as you can, because that’s what you do when you’re part of an army. There are risks around you and you have to be able to evaluate them and take actions that are never guaranteed, but the more data you have the better you can make an educated decision. And you take a leap of faith.

This also applies in business. You take all these calculated risks, and you take a leap of faith. You say, “I’m going to invest my time and energy here and not there”, because I believe if I do, then I get the maximum impact and results based on the vision and the strategy that we have aligned. You have to have faith in every person you hire. We have over 200 employees. In a way you kind of take a risk because you can’t always choose candidates, right? So why are you taking a leap of faith and a risk on this human element and not the other? So it’s so many degrees and levels of risk taking from things that look so random or regular to things that are really impactful for many people’s lives. Today, I can say that the game is bigger than me.

What is something that fits into the “If I knew then what I know now” category?

I carry a lot of faith in what I do, and I always look on the bright side, on the positive side. The glass that is half full. Failures and challenges will strike – it would have been great to know back then that it’s all for the best.

Challenges happen and you get nervous, you get upset about all these things. So over time, I try to learn from that and borrow from those lessons and tone it down and be more composed. I think that’s wisdom. It comes with age. If I knew back then that eventually it’s going to turn out okay it would have been helpful.

When things are challenging, don’t overreact. Don’t go into despair or over worry about things. You will succeed and get all these beautiful milestones. Celebrate them, enjoy them. But don’t think you’re at the top of the world. Don’t get carried away – stay balanced. 

What are your passions and interests outside of work?

Definitely music. If it wasn’t for music, I would not be able to survive, so any chance I get I try to make sure there’s some sort of a song or music playing. I played in the band back in high school, so I know how to play piano. I know how to play guitar and the drums. So yeah, just the creativity of it. The vibes of it. It helps me a lot. I definitely like to read books. Stay in touch with my friends, celebrate life with them. I definitely like to do things outside of work.

What do you think is a misconception about being a founder? 

It’s not, at least for myself, a road full of roses, there are a lot of thorns. I always say, in a way, I went through hell and back numerous times. And I found entrepreneurs really have to realize that, to a degree, they have to be humans that are very comfortable being uncomfortable all the time.

The Founder Spotlight Series focuses on the entrepreneurial journey. At Buzzy Rocket we are passionate about helping entrepreneurs share their vision. Interested in participating in the Founder Spotlight Series? Contact the Buzzy Rocket team. 

Like to be in the know?

Sign up below and receive our weekly Lowdown filled with startup news, startup marketing tips and more.