Led by Permira, the London-based global investment firm, the investment values the startup at $1.5 billion, the company’s U.S. CEO and Co-founder Adrien Nussenbaum told the news outlet.
At that valuation, Mirakl qualifies as a unicorn, the term used to describe a startup worth more than $1 billion.
Alexandre Margoline, a partner at Permira, said in a statement that Mirakl can become the central hub and platform for digital marketplace operators, sellers and partners.
Mirakl provides online marketplace software to manufacturers, wholesalers and retailers, including Kroger Co., Siemens AG and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co., according to its website.
Nussenbaum told the news service that in addition to using the cash to hire 300 engineers over the next three years, one of the drivers for this round of funding is an initial public offering (IPO). “We think within a couple years, we would be in a position to IPO,” he told Bloomberg.
Other investors include Bain Capital Ventures, Elaia Partners, 83North and Felix Capital, bringing the total capital raised by the company to $400 million, according to a statement.
Last spring, Nussenbaum told PYMNTS that the company was bringing back-end marketplace services, including merchandising and fulfillment tasks, to retailers and brands in a variety of retail niches. He said such digital technology is making it easier for sellers, brands and consumers to connect. As a result, eCommerce is becoming a battle of marketplaces, services and ecosystems.
The company was founded in 2006, when Nussenbaum launched an online marketplace for video games. “We felt that marketplaces would become the dominant business model,” he noted – in large part because such operations constructed “a network effect that created critical mass” for the products and sellers. Those marketplace benefits, along with the strength of the back-end technology used to power them, became more apparent after Nussenbaum and his partner sold the operation to a European firm, which helped the operation grow toward $150 million in sales.
Then, the two entrepreneurs turned their attention to providing turnkey marketplace technology for retail and brand clients, which would enable them to work with sellers ranging from manufacturers to distributors to specialized resellers. With all retailers facing fierce competition, such marketplace services can, according to Nussenbaum, enable them to “offer greater choices, and greater convenience and prices, and be able to operate on par with what Amazon can offer.”