E-commerce Startup Mirakl Raises Funds at $1.5 Billion Value

Paris-based Mirakl has raised $300 million in a funding round led by private equity firm Permira valuing the e-commerce startup at $1.5 billion, the company’s U.S. chief executive officer and co-founder said in an interview.

The round makes Mirakl, which also has offices in Boston, a newly minted unicorn with a valuation of more than $1 billion. The company makes software that helps build marketplaces and online stores for customers including Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., Kroger Co. and Siemens AG, its website showed.

An initial public offering is one of “the very serious options on this table and one of the drivers of this round,” Adrien Nussenbaum, Mirakl’s U.S. CEO and co-founder, said in an interview. “We think within a couple years we would be in a position to IPO,” he said.

Companies that power e-commerce have been boosted by the Covid-19 pandemic when consumers have shifted their shopping habits to the home. Large e-commerce provider Shopify Inc. has seen its shares more than double since March.

Nussenbaum added that the company partners with Shopify and Adobe Inc.’s Magento Commerce on connecting their platforms to third-party sellers. Permira was an investor in Magento Commerce before it sold to Adobe for $1.68 billion in 2018.

He added that Mirakl would use the investment to hire 300 engineers over the next three years.

The funding round won the attention of French President Emmanuel Macron, who lauded it in a tweet as the biggest ever for a French startup.

Permira Partner Alexandre Margoline said in a statement that Mirakl can become the “central hub and platform for digital marketplace operators, sellers and partners.” Permira is investing through its growth opportunities fund that makes minority investments in growth-stage companies.

Bruce Chizen, a former CEO of Adobe and current director at Oracle Corp., will be an adviser to Mirakl’s board. He said in an interview that Mirakl being headquartered in France is an advantage for hiring compared to Silicon Valley.

“It’s less competitive in terms of recruiting great talent,” said Chizen, who is also a growth partner at Permira.

Other investors in the round include 83North, Bain Capital Ventures, Elaia Partners and Felix Capital, bringing total capital raised by the company to $400 million, according to a statement.

Allen & Co. advised Mirakl and Royal Bank of Canada and Eurvad Finance advised Permira.


Originally posted on 22 September, 2020 by Katie Roof, Bloomberg

Carrefour France to open up Marketplace to independent retailers for free

Through its marketplace, which currently focuses on food, Carrefour provides small retailers with an accelerated solution for digitising their businesses with the support of its partner Mirakl, and is making it free to use during the lockdown. In June 2020, Carrefour launched a food marketplace which has already made products from more than a hundred retailers and artisans available to some 15 million people in France who visit www.carrefour.fr every month. 52% of these “partner vendors” are SMEs, very small companies and start-ups.


Read the full article on Retail Times UK

Private Equity Firms Bet on Booming Demand for Online Shopping

Private equity firms are betting that the rise in online shopping is here to stay, with some of the world’s biggest investment funds eyeing deals for everything from warehouses to delivery companies.

Clipper Logistics Plc, which supports the e-commerce operations of retailers from Asos Plc to Superdry, is attracting interest from buyout firms, people with knowledge of the matter said. Cinven is among potential suitors that have been evaluating the 496 million-pound ($638 million) British company, while CVC Capital Partners has also looked in the past, according to the people, who asked not to be identified because the information is private.

Silver Lake recently participated in a $650 million funding round for Klarna AB, which lets shoppers pay for online purchases in installments. In August, Advent International acquired a controlling stake in the U.K. operations of package delivery service Hermes.

The coronavirus crisis has created rising e-commerce demand, with customers stuck indoors ordering everything from food delivery to clothing and items for home improvement. That’s attracted private equity firms, which are eager to spend the record piles of capital they’ve amassed even as they grapple with the effects of Covid-19 on the companies they already own.

Permira led a $300 million funding round last month for Mirakl, the French startup behind a platform used to create digital marketplaces, while Warburg Pincus invested in Boston-based Salsify Inc., which helps brands manage their online presence.

Investor appetite for such assets has been highlighted in recent months by the bumper initial public offerings of e-commerce companies BigCommerce Holdings Inc. in the U.S., THG Holdings Ltd. in the U.K. and Allegro in Poland.

Technology dealmaking has been a bright spot for bankers this year. The volume of deals in the industry more than doubled in the third quarter from a year earlier to hit $229 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.


Originally posted on 1 October, 2020 by Jan-Henrik Foerster, Dinesh Nair, and David Hellier, Bloomberg

U.S. tech venture investing gets a boost from pandemic

OAKLAND, Calif (Reuters) – Brian Bell, chief executive of Split Software, was in a meeting pitching investors when California announced the shelter-in-place policy to prevent the spread of the coronavirus in March. In the days that followed all of his meetings were delayed or canceled as venture capital investments froze.

But since then things haven’t just thawed, they are boiling over. According to previously unreleased data from PitchBook, in the first nine months of 2020, U.S. venture capital firms invested $88.1 billion in tech startups, up from $82.3 billion in the first nine months of 2019. Tech investments represented 78% of venture capital investments last year and 74% in 2018.

Venture capitalists say $3 trillion in stimulus funding has investors looking to put cash to work, and top venture capital firms continue to launch massive funds. Greylock Partners, an early investor in Airbnb, started raising money for its latest fund during the pandemic and announced a billion-dollar fund in September. Lightspeed Venture Partners, the first outside investor in Snap, in April announced it raised more than $4 billion for three new funds to support early- and growth-stage startups.

Investors say they are betting the pandemic will have the lasting effect of pushing more economic activity online, making up for the businesses boarding up on Main Street. And they are investing in startups that aim to enable the further digitization of sectors like banking, retail and healthcare.

In recent weeks, fintech startups Next Insurance and Greenlight Financial Technology each raised well over $200 million, digital health insurance firm Bright Health raised $500 million, and Mirakl, which helps companies launch and scale e-commerce, raised $300 million.

Startups that provide security, infrastructure and artificial intelligence technology for the online world are also getting a boost. Transcend, which helps companies easily erase consumer data, raised $25 million over the summer in an early round backed by Index Ventures and Accel Partners. And Beyond Limits, an AI technology company for sectors including energy and healthcare, raised $113 million in September with another $20 million committed.

The enthusiasm is also seen in the appetite for tech IPOs. Sixteen went public in September alone, according to PitchBook, including data warehouse company Snowflake Inc. SNOW.N, which raised more than $3 billion in the largest U.S. listing so far this year.

Shardul Shah, a partner at Index Ventures, said the positive reception for tech IPOs is “encouraging people to swing for the fences.”

For Split, which helps app developers test and measure the impact of new features before wider rollouts, Bell said it didn’t take long to line up new investor meetings. Over the summer it was able to raise $33 million from at least eight VC firms including Accel Partners, an early investor in Facebook.

Accel’s Steve Loughlin said that by May, data from its startups made it clear that enterprise software and startups that could profit from the work-from-home shift would prosper.

Mark Leahy, a partner at Silicon Valley law firm Fenwick & West that crunches venture investment data, added that another sign of strength in venture funding is the number of early-stage investments. Earlier stage deals accounted for 59% of July financings, higher than the 55% monthly average in 2019. “That’s the beginning of growth and that’s what’s going to carry us into 2021.”


Originally posted on 1 October, 2020 by Jane Lanhee Lee, Reuters

Commerce-as-a-Service Takes The B2B Venture Capital Lead

This week was one of the strongest for B2B FinTech investments, as accounts payable (AP) automation and small business trade finance companies landed impressive funding rounds, with one SMB InsurTech startup reportedly gearing up for a $250 million investment in the near future. But it was an eCommerce-as-a-Service startup that secured the largest funding this week, coming in a $300 million, showcasing investors’ appetite for companies looking to help other businesses with their digital migrations.

Zoop

With $10.85 million in new funding, Brazil’s Zoop will focus on accelerating its growth and the rollout of new digital banking, payments and credit solutions. The company operates a Banking-as-a-Service, mobile payments and financing platform that can be white-labeled for other third-party financial service providers, FinTechs, businesses and others to implement their own financial products and services. Movile led the investment round, a press release said.

Finom

Based in Amsterdam and the U.K., Finom has announced a $12 million investment round for its technology that offers mobile-first financial services for small and medium-sized businesses. The challenger bank said it will use the investment, which is an extension of a funding round announced in April, to fuel growth throughout Europe and to extend licensed activities, as well as develop new products. Investors at Target Global, Cogito Capital, Entree Capital, Avala Capital, Tal Capital, Adfirst Ventures, FJ Labs and Raisin founders participated in the investment, according to Nordic9 reports.

Marco Financial

Miami-based Marco Financial operates a B2B platform that helps small and medium-sized exporters based in Latin America to access working capital and trade finance. The company secured $26 million in new funding, according to a press release, with the investment coming from Struck Capital and Antler. The investment also included a credit facility underwritten by Arcadia Funds, LLC, the company noted, with the funds providing Marco Financial with momentum to address the $1.5 trillion trade gap, it said.

MineralTree

AP and B2B payments automation FinTech MineralTree announced a $50 million Series D investment round this week in conjunction with two acquisitions. Investors at Great Hill Partners, .406 Ventures and Eight Roads Ventures provided the investment, while MineralTree also revealed its takeover of Inspyrus and Regal Software, two businesses also operating in the AP automation arena. With a focus on mid-market companies, MineralTree said there has been rising demand for AP automation technologies amid pandemic-related volatility and remote working requirements. The company plans to use the latest investment to expand product capability, strike new partnerships and continue to scale as it looks to strengthen capabilities for MineralTree customers and bank partners.

Mirakl

Taking the lead this week is Mirakl, an eCommerce-as-a-Service startup targeting both B2B and B2C sellers looking to embrace the digital realm. In an announcement this week, Mirakl revealed an impressive $300 million investment round, propelling its valuation to $1.5 billion. Investors at Permira led the investment, while 83North, Bain Capital Ventures, Elaia Partners and Felix Capital also participated. Mirakl said it plans to deploy the investment to fuel its “new phase of hypergrowth,” with plans to hire more than 300 engineers over the next three years, as well as scale its customer success and sales teams. “The world is going through a new economic revolution driven by tech innovation and increased online connectivity,” said Mirakl in its announcement. “Traditional business models have stretched to their breaking point trying to compete for speed and scale.”

Looking Ahead: Next Insurance

Small business InsurTech startup Next Insurance is reportedly in talks to secure $250 million in fresh funding led by CapitalG, the private equity firm of Alphabet. Next Insurance would land a $2.25 billion valuation if the funding occurs, reports in Bloomberg said, and would follow a previous $250 million investment from Munich Re Group announced last fall


Originally posted on 29 September, 2020 by PYMNTS

Mirakl raises $300 million for its marketplace platform

French startup Mirakl has raised a $300 million funding round at a $1.5 billion valuation — the company is now a unicorn. Mirakl helps you launch and manage a marketplace on your e-commerce website. Many customers also rely on Mirakl-powered marketplaces for B2B transactions.

Permira Advisers is leading the round, with existing investors 83North, Bain Capital Ventures, Elaia Partners and Felix Capital also participating.

“We’ve closed this round in 43 days,” co-founder and U.S. CEO Adrien Nussenbaum told me. But the due diligence process has been intense. “[Permira Advisers] made 250 calls to clients, leads, partners and former employees.”

Many e-commerce companies rely on third-party sellers to increase their offering. Instead of having one seller selling to many customers, marketplaces let you sell products from many sellers to many customers. Mirakl has built a solution to manage the marketplace of your e-commerce platform.

300 companies have been working with Mirakl for their marketplace, such as Best Buy Canada, Carrefour, Darty and Office Depot. More recently, Mirakl has been increasingly working with B2B clients as well.

These industry-specific marketplaces can be used for procurement or bulk selling of parts. In this category, clients include Airbus Helicopters, Toyota Material Handling and Accor’s Astore. 60% of Mirakl’s marketplace are still consumer-facing marketplaces, but the company is adding as many B2B and B2C marketplaces these days.

“We’ve developed a lot of features that enable platform business models that go further than simple marketplaces,” co-founder and CEO Philippe Corrot told me. “For instance, we’ve invested in services — it lets our clients develop service platforms.”

In France, Conforama can upsell customers with different services when they buy some furniture for instance. Mirakl has also launched its own catalog manager so that you can merge listings, add information, etc.

The company is using artificial intelligence to do the heavy-lifting on this front. There are other AI-enabled features, such as fraud detection.

Given that Mirakl is a marketplace expert, it’s not surprising that the company has also created a sort of marketplace of marketplaces with Mirakl Connect.

“Mirakl Connect is a platform that is going to be the single entry point for everybody in the marketplace ecosystem, from sellers to operators and partners,” Corrot said.

For sellers, it’s quite obvious. You can create a company profile and promote products on multiple marketplaces at once. But the company is also starting to work with payment service providers, fulfillment companies, feed aggregators and other partners. The company wants to become a one-stop shop on marketplaces with those partners.

Overall, Mirakl-powered marketplaces have generated $1.2 billion in gross merchandise volume (GMV) during the first half of 2020. It represents a 111% year-over-year increase, despite the economic crisis.

With today’s funding round, the company plans to expand across all areas — same features, same business model, but with more resources. It plans to hire 500 engineers and scale its sales and customer success teams.


Originally posted on 22 September, 2020 by Romain Dillet, TechCrunch

Software startup plans to add at least 250 jobs in Mass. after $300M funding round

Mirakl has its roots in France, but is also about to soar here in Greater Boston

A startup with dual headquarters offices in Somerville and Paris plans to add as many as 250 jobs in the Boston area now that it has landed $300 million in new equity funding.

Mirakl cofounder Adrien Nussenbaum, whose firm creates and sells digital-marketplace software, said the roughly 300-person company is looking to add as many as 1,000 jobs over the next three years, including 250 in Greater Boston, in part due to the surge in revenue it is seeing because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Permira Advisers was the lead investor, and was joined by existing Mirakl investors such as 83North, Bain Capital Ventures, Elaia Partners, and Felix Capital. Details of the transaction were not disclosed, but Mirakl said the latest funding round places the company’s valuation at more than $1.5 billion.

In the first half of the year, Mirakl’s North American sales doubled 2019 revenue and was on pace to quadruple it by the end of 2020. The pandemic prompted many companies to accelerate their digital shifts, including by establishing or expanding the capabilities of their digital marketplaces, in which they make items available for sale from third party vendors.

Nearly 50 people are based at the Somerville office now. Nussenbaum said he was close to signing a lease for a new US headquarters but held off once the pandemic hit in March. However, he still plans on leasing a much bigger office here.

Nussenbaum launched the company in 2012 Paris with cofounder Philippe Corrot, and moved to the Boston area in 2015 with his family. He chose to establish Mirakl’s US base here in Boston over Silicon Valley in part because of the shorter flight to France, the quality of life, and the corporate culture.

The company is setting up internal controls to prepare for a possible initial public offering within the next two years, he said.

“We view the company as a company that has long-term potential, and not a company whose natural route is to be acquired,” by a big enterprise software business, Nussenbaum said.


Originally posted on 23 September, 2020 by Jon Chesto, Boston Globe