This Tech Startup Just Raised $555 Million To Help Retailers Compete With Amazon

Silver Lake has led a $555 million funding round for Mirakl, a provider of cloud-based marketplace technology.

Existing investors 83North, Elaia Partners, Felix Capital, and Permira participated in the series E round that cemented Mirakl’s status as a unicorn. The round valued the French startup at $3.5 billion, up from the $1.5 billion valuation Mirakl snagged with its $300 million round in September 2020. In all, Mirakl has raised about $1 billion in funding, according to Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO.

“For more than two decades, Silver Lake has successfully identified and supported many of the world’s most disruptive technology and technology-enabled companies, and we are thrilled to partner with Mirakl as it enters its next phase of growth,” said Christian Lucas, managing director and co-head of Silver Lake EMEA, in a statement.

Nussenbaum and his co-founder and co-CEO, Philippe Corrot, own 25% of Mirakl. The company’s six institutional investors, including Permira and Silver Lake, each own between 10% to 15%, he said.

Founded in Paris in 2012, Mirakl provides cloud-based software that helps companies across industries launch and scale online marketplaces themselves. Customers include ABB (ticker: ABB) Best Buy Canada, Kroger Co (KR), and Toyota Material Handling. Mirakl currently employs about 600 people.

“Our plan is to triple that number by 2025,” Nussenbaum told Barron’s. The startup expects to add 350 engineers, which will expand its Mirakl Labs team to 500 by 2023.

The Covid-19 pandemic helped potential customers realize that they need the flexibility of marketplaces, Nussenbaum said. He pointed to Mirakl’s initiative with the French government during the height of the virus.

In April 2020, Mirakl launched and powered a marketplace, Stopcovid19.fr, that helped healthcare personnel and workers in France secure essential items like masks, gowns, glasses, and hairnets from third-party sellers. Companies all over the world donated or sold these items to help with the shortage of essential items.

Mirakl’s marketplaces help businesses keep up with increased demand without the burden of owned inventory. For example, grocery retailer Kroger in August 2020 expanded its marketplace, powered by Mirakl, to include products from third-party sellers.

“The world has shifted irreversibly towards eCommerce, and the enterprise marketplace model has clearly emerged as the only solution that will enable businesses to survive in a competitive global sales environment. Mirakl has clearly proven that it offers the most advanced, flexible, and scalable platform for businesses to win against competitors and profit from the growth afforded by the marketplace economy,” Nussenbaum said in a statement.

One thing that’s not part of Mirakl’s immediate plans is an initial public offering. Mirakl is still in the innovation phase and is more focused on its strategy, Nussenbaum said. When asked about an IPO, Nussenbaum said Mirakl is “not there yet and not making it a priority in coming months. We’re really focused on deploying capital and accelerating our growth plans. But my mom would love it if I rang the bell one day.”

Originally posted on September 21, 2021, by Luisa Beltran, Barron’s