Faire: How Digitizing Wholesale Empowers the Future of Retail

Jun 10 · 3 min read

By Ravi Gupta on behalf of Team Sequoia

When I first encountered Faire, we were competitors — not for customers, but for talent. I was working at Instacart, and one of our highest-potential team members let me know he was thinking about departing to join Max Rhodes and his team. Ultimately, the employee decided to stay, but I’ve never fought harder to keep someone. In the process, I heard nothing but incredible things about Faire.

My future partners at Sequoia, meanwhile, had been believers from the start, recognizing Max’s visionary idea and partnering with Faire at the seed in 2017. The previously overlooked multi-trillion dollar wholesale market, which at the time relied on in-person trade shows to connect independent brands and retailers, was ripe for disruption. Max, along with co-founders Jeff Kolovson, Daniele Perito and Marcelo Cortes (all of whom worked together at Square), understood that these businesses had a big role to play in the future and knew they could build a better, digital bridge between them.

Of course, what none of us knew back then was just how quickly things would change. The COVID-19 pandemic, which was the source of so much pain and turmoil for people around the world, also became a catalyst for the inevitable sea change toward more shopping — and more of life in general — taking place online. Suddenly, Faire was not simply a more efficient link between brands and retailers. It was an enabler of a massive, generational shift in behavior.

In the middle of this transformation, the Faire team responded exceptionally well, stepping up to fully support their customers. To us at Sequoia, it was just one more example of their world-class ability to execute and commitment to doing things right. Four years into our partnership, Max, Jeff, Daniele and Marcelo are as hungry, humble, decisive and mission-driven as ever. They approach even ordinary tasks with an extraordinary level of focus and attention to detail.

Over the years, some mistakenly assumed Faire’s market size would be limited. But instead of worrying about the skeptics, the team has methodically expanded their TAM, constantly identifying new categories and solving those customers’ challenges, one by one. They’ve grown exponentially over the past two years. Now, they’re expanding internationally and establishing themselves as a leader in markets outside the U.S. When Faire first launched in the U.S., the reception from brands and retailers was incredible. In Europe, Faire grew three times faster than it did in the U.S. in its first 30 days in the market. Faire has already achieved a run-rate of nearly $50M in international GMV, which in the U.S. took two years to reach, making it clear that this is a global opportunity.

At Sequoia, we are more excited than ever about the transformation this team is leading, and we’re proud to be leading Faire’s Series F round after their Series E last year. In a post-COVID world, we believe the problem they’re solving will be more relevant than ever. We know they’re just getting started. In the future, thanks to Faire, brands will no longer have to rely on a single week or two to sustain them all year. Retailers will have access to millions of products. They’ll both have the technology they need to quickly understand and adapt to what their customers really want — making Faire’s success a win for all of us as consumers too. As we look toward that future, we’re grateful to be by Max and the team’s side, supporting them on this journey. And I’m glad to never have to compete against Faire again!

Sequoia Capital Publication

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