by Stephen Garner

Faire, an online wholesale marketplace connecting more than 200,000 retailers across North America and Europe with 20,000 brands from over 80 countries, has closed on $260 million in a Series F investment round led by Sequoia Capital. The funding, which includes all existing investors as well as new global investors Baillie Gifford and Wellington Management, values Faire at $7 billion, nearly tripling its previous valuation of $2.5 billion announced just over six months ago.

This new capital will help Faire continue to build leading tools and market events that equip its customers with the resources they need to thrive, including doubling down on its investment within apparel after seeing meaningful category growth. Additionally, this capital will help Faire continue to hire top talent to significantly increase headcount across all global offices, as well as introduce Faire into new markets to create a truly globalized marketplace where retailers and brands around the world can seamlessly connect and meaningfully compete against retail giants.

“We are in the midst of a multi-decade digital transformation,” said Ravi Gupta, partner at Sequoia. “The world-class team at Faire is leading the way in digitizing the multi-trillion-dollar global wholesale market. We at Sequoia are more excited than ever about the opportunity ahead and we are thrilled to continue our partnership.”

This funding comes just weeks after Faire’s expansion into Europe, which brings the platform’s cross-border network effects to the $1 trillion European market. Across North America and Europe, independent retailers are doing more than twice the revenue of Walmart and Amazon combined. Faire’s entrance into Europe, one of the world’s largest and most diverse economies, represents a significant opportunity to accelerate and strengthen the combined competitive power of the international independent retail community.

Faire’s impact in Europe to date signals that the digitalization of wholesale has had a meaningful effect on positioning independent retailers against big-box chains and e-commerce giants, and is emblematic of Faire’s future contribution to local economies across the globe.

Faire is now operating across the largest markets in Europe including the United Kingdom, Netherlands, France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, with plans to expand across all of continental Europe in the coming months.

Within the first 30 days of launching the platform in each respective market, Faire’s Europe growth outpaced US growth by 230 percent. Faire volume in Europe is now annualizing to roughly $50 million, a scale that took nearly two years to reach in the U.S.

Faire’s launch in Europe has generated fast-paced growth of international brand supply, ramping to nearly 5 percent of overall Faire volume shortly after launch.

In addition to accelerating European brand growth abroad, Faire’s entrance into Europe has further enabled North American retailers’ access to unique goods around the world. To date, 15,000 U.S.-based retailers have purchased from international brands on Faire.

Despite a challenging year that took aim at small businesses around the world, Faire remained uniquely positioned to support its customer base and provide the tools and resources they needed to adapt and compete during a critical period. The platform’s continuously improving machine learning algorithm that empowers retailers to make better purchase decisions and ultimately iterate on trends at a faster pace, combined with seamless access to unique goods from around the world, provided a key competitive advantage against mainstream items found in chain stores. As a result, the majority of surveyed Faire retailers reported increased sales one year out from the start of the pandemic, while over 50 percent of surveyed Faire brands reported that the majority of their revenue within the past year has come from wholesale business. Their ability to successfully leverage the efficiency of the online experience enabled Faire to triple its business, selling over 75 million products within the last year. Looking ahead, the National Retail Federation has projected the fastest rise in retail sales in over two decades. This, combined with an Intuit survey revealing that 82 percent of consumers would spend more to support local businesses after the pandemic, depicts an increasingly positive outlook on independent retailers winning back more of the market.

“Faire’s pace of growth signals that independent retailers across the globe are evolving and changing the face of the retail industry as we have known it,” added Faire CEO, Max Rhodes. “We have always believed in this thriving community of entrepreneurs, and are honored to be a navigating partner for them through the pandemic and into these periods of recovery. Faire will continue to invest in independent brands and retailers at one of the most important times in history, as small businesses reopen around the world. We know that they will rebuild and reimagine the future of retail to better serve their local communities.”