Faire, the Waterloo-based retail innovator, has announced a new valuation of $7 billion following a $260 million Series F funding round.
As the company itself noted, this sort of sentence is might seem like déjà vu. That’s because Faire previously announced a $170 million Series E that took their valuation to $2.5 billion just 8 months ago and a $150 million Series D that helped them achieve unicorn status ($1 billion valuation) in late-2019.
Building on public information, Waterloo EDC estimates Faire’s funding total now tops $700 million since the company was founded in 2017.
A fast-growing scale-up that helps small businesses discover and stock new products, Faire has helped so-called mom-and-pop shops compete against giants like Walmart and Amazon. The company’s algorithm curates product suggestions that fit with a business’s product offering and allows its customers to return unsold inventory, which reduces risk. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the Faire platform has seen a spike in use as small businesses try to keep up with demand.
This drive for a “democratized future for retail” is resonating with investors, who are clearly eager to help the company grow. The new resources will go toward rapid expansion in categories like food and apparel, as well as new geographies like Europe.
Faire originally launched with a unique model that included two headquarters: a main tech office in Waterloo and the main business office in San Francisco. We’ve written about Faire’s origins in the past, and Faire CTO Marcelo Cortes has spoken about the experience as part of a webinar on international expansion.
The real starting point for Faire in Waterloo is talent – the University of Waterloo is a global top-40 Engineering and Technology school that graduates more engineers than MIT and Stanford University combined.
Faire is just one of three unicorn tech companies to appear in Waterloo over the last year. Arctic Wolf announced a $200 million raise that took them over the $1 billion valuation threshold in October and ApplyBoard also achieved unicorn status in 2020.
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