Stefan Gehrig’s side hustle was doing well — and that became a dilemma.

The Melbourne, Australia-based entrepreneur had started a gym bag brand called Knkg, also known as King Kong Apparel, in 2011. It began as a side hustle that scratched an entrepreneurial itch untouched by his academic day job, then grew into his full-time business. But by 2021, he’d hit a wall: To scale up, he needed resources that he didn’t have.

Meanwhile, in Miami, investor and former PayPal executive Keith Rabois had just helped found a startup called OpenStore, which acquires Shopify stores with growth potential. Gehrig heard about OpenStore, but wasn’t interested in selling Knkg. Then, in 2023, the startup launched another offering called OpenStore Drive, which lets Shopify owners retain ownership while handing off operations to OpenStore. That interested Gehrig a lot more.

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