With its latest $400 million funding round, announced Tuesday, online wholesale marketplace Faire is now worth $12.4 billion — a whopping increase of nearly $5.5 billion in just five months.
Durable Capital Partners, D1 Capital Partners and Dragoneer Investment Group led the Series G. With its third round in just over a year, total funding-to-date climbed above $1 billion, according to the company. Roughly this time last year, its $170 million round put its valuation at $2.5 billion. In June, which brought $260 million, Faire was worth $7 billion.
The company launched operations in the U.S. in 2017, then announced its expansion to 15 more markets across Europe and the U.K. this summer, essentially connecting small businesses to Europe.
The latter move notably outperformed the initial domestic business: according to the company, it only took six months for its annualized sales volume in Europe to blow past $150 million, a benchmark that took almost three years to achieve in North America. In the region, Faire’s brand base jumped more than 10 times, it said, with total products for sale increasing 800 percent and allowing access to more than 400,000 unique items. It facilitated more than 160,000 orders between North America and Europe, with over 2 million connections between platform businesses.
In all, the business now connects more than 300,000 retailers with 40,000 brands globally, tripling the size of its marketplace in just one year. And it took less than five years to break annual volume of $1 billion.
The wild success of its overseas expansion stood out to investors. “With their continued investment in the U.K., Europe, and beyond, we believe that Faire will transform the global wholesale market,” Anouk Dey, partner of Durable Capital Partners LP, was quoted as saying in Faire’s announcement.
Essentially, the company offers smaller stores a way to connect with global brands, carving a path typically defined by the massive purchasing power of retail giants like Walmart and Amazon.
Faire’s meteoric rise might have happened anyway, at least eventually, but the appeal of cross-border distribution, online tools and data intelligence is hard to overestimate, especially with the pandemic’s heightened pressures on retail. Add services like shipping, payments, shopping features and marketing, and the business may seem like a godsend for mom-and-pop operations.
“With our global reach, Faire is providing an even greater opportunity for the independent retail community to compete against big-box giants,” explained Max Rhodes, Faire cofounder and chief executive officer. “By removing the traditional growth hurdles our customers face, we have enabled more opportunities, more connections, and more possibilities for the entrepreneurs who use the platform.
“Our ability to deliver local and cross-border demand to brands, and in turn offer retailers access to a more expansive, data-driven selection is how Faire will define the future of retail.”
The news comes as the peak holiday season approaches, buoyed by what looks like a growing appetite for consumerism: on Tuesday, the U.S. Commerce Department announced an uptick of 1.7 percent in retail sales last month.