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Retail innovator announces $150 million raise and $1 billion valuation

Waterloo-based retail innovator Faire has announced a $150 million funding raise, which puts them at a $1 billion valuation.

Faire, a scale-up that operates an online marketplace for independent local retailers and makers, has announced $150 million in new funding through a Series D raise. In total, the company has raised $266 million and now has a valuation of $1 billion, fulfilling a prediction that Forbes made just a few months ago.

Founded two years ago with two headquarters – one in Waterloo and another in Silicon Valley – the company is moving fast. They’ve on-boarded 7,000 makers and 50,000 retailers and sold more than 15 million products, surpassing $1 million in sales per day. To put that in perspective, in early 2018 Faire averaged less than $1 million in sales per month.

The company’s leadership includes several former Square employees, including Waterloo-based CTO Marcelo Cortes, who was responsible for the development of Square Cash. Cortes also did a stint at Google’s Canadian Engineering Headquarters, which is right down the street from Faire’s Waterloo operation.

In many ways, Cortes’ journey is representative of the Waterloo experience. He arrived as an international student to study computer science at the renowned University of Waterloo, developed his skills with some of the world’s top companies, including Google and Square, and then took the leap and helped co-found a company. Cortes’ familiarity with the strength of the Waterloo ecosystem led him to insist that the company build its tech operation in Waterloo, which has significant talent, cost, culture and quality-of-life advantages over larger centres like Toronto or Silicon Valley.

Read full coverage of Faire’s raise and new valuation at Crunchbase.

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