[EN] What a journey, growing from seed to series C!

Louisa Mesnard
Mar 8 · 5 min read

This past week, both Mirakl and Shift Technology have announced major investment rounds. We, at Elaia, figured it was a good time to share how proud we are of their trip from seed to Series C!

We are super impressed by both of these amazing teams, how they have managed to grow their companies and honored to be part of their journey!

💥 Mirakl = marketplace + SaaS 💥

After a first round of €2.5million from Elaia, Dassault Family and Xavier Niel, Series B of $20M from Felix Capital and 83North, Mirakl just announced a new round of investment of $70M lead by Bain Capital.

Today, Mirakl is the leading online marketplace platform and dropship solution. In 2018, the startup added 60 new customers, launched 37 marketplaces and doubled their gross merchandise volume versus 2017!

“Supporter of the first hour”

Here is why, back in 2012, we believed in this amazing company! Our investment thesis was based on the:

  • Team: two serial entrepreneurs, Philippe Corrot and Adrien Nussenbaum, who previously founded Splitgames, a media, social network and marketplace for videogames, which was acquired by fnac.com (4th most visited ecommerce website in France). Inside fnac.com, they developed from scratch the marketplace and then managed to establish fnac.com as a market leader online. This meant that on top of having complementary skills and backgrounds, they knew perfectly their market and environment.
  • Vision: We were impressed by their crystal clear vision of the market opportunity! They believed from the very start that the marketplace model was going to prevail, conquer the internet and therefore that an immense opportunity would open. Marketplaces were allowing an extension of the product offer, an improvement of the customer service as well as an improvement of the profitability due to costs mutualization.
  • Market: The e-commerce industry has grown spectacularly over the past two decades creating new business activities, lower prices and more choice for consumers. The European market grew 19% in 2011, overtaking North America, which has a value of €237 billion (source: EMOTA). Marketplaces are a must have to compete against Amazon and the other e-commerce giants, since all of them are basing their growth and profitability on this powerful model.
  • Tech: Mirakl is a cloud platform built on both the most advanced cloud technologies and a great number of complex, business-specific modules needed to create from scratch a marketplace to be integrated on a e-commerce platform. Back in 2012, the product was almost completed and already 70% of their team was focused on R&D.

Since then, the company has been overdelivering against its initial vision and expanded its customer base to more than 200 clients on 5 continents. And also, its market opportunity improved dramatically since they adapted their vision from the B2C e-commerce sector to the B2B opportunity, turning Mirakl into a cornerstone solution in the global platform economy.

The famous terrible first pitch mentioned by Adrien Nuissenbaum in in his tweet took place during a dinner at Paris City Hall. He made his way to seat next to Xavier Lazarus and tried to pitch him during the dinner. The pitch was not that terrible but the latter was also trying to pitch Elaia’s new fund to his other neighbor, member of one of the largest Family Offices in France and who was paying as much attention to Xavier than Xavier was paying to Adrien! Anyway, when Adrien and Philippe came to our offices for a proper pitch a few weeks after, that was a very different story!

💥 Shift Technology = AI + Insurance + SaaS 💥

After a first round of $1.6m with Iris and Elaia, a round of $10m from Accel, Elaia Partners and Iris Capital and a another round of $28 Million Series B from Accel and General Catalyst, Shift Technology just announced their latest round of funding with Bessemer Venture Partners (with whom we also co-invested in Criteo) bringing total investment to $100m.

Today, we are delighted that Shift Technology has 70 clients in 35 countries and a turnover that doubles every year. But let’s flashback a bit to the time when we invested!

Back in September 2014, we were already convinced by the:

  • Team: Jeremy & Eric had acquired experience by working for a major insurer. They had acquired a perfect understanding of their market and environment. Jeremy, the CEO, has always had a strategic vision of the company by understanding the impact of technology on business and being very focused on winning deals. Eric, the CSO, has a Ph.D. in Machine Learning with a focus on ranking algorithm. David, the CTO, has a master from ENS in computer science and quit Goldman Sachs to join Jeremy & Eric as late founder.
  • Market: Shift addresses the following issue: up to €12bn are lost to fraud each year in Europe (Source: Accenture). 76% of insurers plan to implement advanced fraud detection techniques such a predictive modeling tool. This huge business opportunity hadn’t been addressed yet!
  • Vision: the vision was bold and the timing perfect. All major insurers needed a“software-as-a-service platform that uses the latest advances in artificial intelligence (AI) to help insurers detect fraud”
  • Tech: they knew they wanted to solve fraud identification and they had demonstrated that AI was the best mean to do so. They quickly developed a first class R&D team with experts in machine learning that were able to measure a very satisfactory rate of detection of fraud — that has been constantly improving since!

and cherry on the cake, at Elaia, we love AI & SaaS models!

🙊 Everyone at their board has a Star Wars name. Philippe choose chewbacca, guess why? Not only because he is Han Solo’s co-pilot but also because of his unwavering in his loyalty. He is present all along the saga! 🙊

By the way, they are looking for 150 new people, apply here.

If you liked this article, feel free to clap & follow Elaia

Elaia

• Backing tech disrupters •

Thanks to Marc Rougier

Louisa Mesnard

Written by

Head of Marketing & Communication at @elaia • @StartHer • Globe Trotter @_WProject_ •@TextFugees • Teacher @ESSCA_Ecole

Elaia

Elaia

• Backing tech disrupters •

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