Faire raises $170 million USD Series E, looks to grow Kitchener-Waterloo office

Faire, a wholesale marketplace startup based in Kitchener-Waterloo and San Francisco, has raised a $170 million USD Series E round of financing. According to a report from Forbes, the deal more than doubled Faire’s valuation to $2.5 billion.

Faire’s Kitchener-Waterloo location, which employs 150, will likely grow to over 200 by the end of 2021.

The round was led by Sequoia Capital. According to Forbes, existing investors included Y Combinator, Lightspeed Venture Partners, Forerunner Ventures, Khosla Ventures and Founders Fund participated. New participants in this round included DST Global, D1 Capital Partners, Norwest Venture Partners and Dragoneer.

Faire plans to use the new funding to expand to the United Kingdom next year, expand its customer base, and to hire more staff for its four offices. According to Communitech News, the company currently employs more than 300 people at locations in Kitchener-Waterloo, San Francisco, and Salt Lake City, a headcount the company plans to double by the end of 2021.

Marcelo Cortes, chief technology officer and co-founder of Faire, told Communitech its Kitchener-Waterloo location, which currently employs approximately 150 people, will likely grow to over 200 by the end of 2021.

Faire unveiled its Canadian headquarters in Kitchener-Waterloo in February. Although the company previously had a presence in the region, the office space marked its first official headquarters in Canada.

RELATED: Faire quietly rolls out service to Canadian retailers

At the time of the launch, Cortes told BetaKit he wanted to bring more functions to the city, particularly after Faire made its services available in Canada for the first time last year.

Faire was launched in January 2017 as Indigo Fair, when Cortes, CEO Max Rhodes, CIO Daniele Perito, and COO Jeff Kolovson met while working at mobile-payments company Square. Faire’s platform allows independent retailers to find new products from niche creators.

The same year it was founded, Faire relocated to Mountain View, Calif. to participate in the Y Combinator (YC) accelerator program. A few days after YC’s Demo Day, Cortes returned to Kitchener-Waterloo and took up desk space in Velocity.

Faire is one of several retail tech companies with ties to Canada to have raised rounds during the COVID-19 pandemic. Last month Montreal-based Lightspeed closed its initial public offering in the United States at $397.7 million USD, as part of its entrance on the New York Stock Exchange.

Image courtesy Faire.

Isabelle Kirkwood

Isabelle Kirkwood

Writer, globetrotter, drone pilot & David Attenborough enthusiast