Online wholesale marketplace Faire, which helps small retailers connect with small brands, has raised $260 million in its latest investment round. The marketplace now has a valuation of $7 billion.
Faire was founded by its chief executive and co-founder, Max Rhodes, who launched the marketplace to address the challenges he faced in finding the right sales channels for an upscale New Zealand umbrella brand that he was trying to sell in the U.S. market.
“We were flying all over the country, going to trade shows. We were emailing back and forth with retailers. Email was kind of the height of the technological innovation for us in that business,” Rhodes told Reuters.
While Faire has looked to alleviate such cross-border sales pain points, it has also made a name for itself by becoming a platform that can help smaller players better compete against retail and eCommerce giants such as Amazon and Walmart. The company’s platform even offers a “not on Amazon” search filter, which is one of the most popular filters among its user base.
The company’s investment round comes on the heels of its expansion to the European market, where it launched its services three months ago and is already seeing rapid growth. The bulk of the sellers on its platform reportedly have about $250,000 in annual sales and many of them are growing fast.
The investment round was led by Silicon Valley-based Sequoia Capital.
“We’re still in the single-digit online penetration for the wholesale market,” said Sequoia partner Ravi Gupta. “We’re in the very early innings of what we think is a multi-decade-long trend towards digitization on some of these things.”