Mirakl, a startup that helps launch online marketplaces, has piggy-backed Amazon's success to become the newest tech unicorn after a deal to raise $300 million (AMZN)

Adrien Nussenbaum, co-founder and co-CEO of Mirakl.Mirakl

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Startups typically spend months, if not years, trying to raise money from investors. It can take just six weeks when you're growing as fast as Mirakl.

Mirakl, a startup that provides the tools for launching an online marketplace, announced on Tuesday that it's raised $300 million from Permira Advisers, 83North, and Bain Capital Ventures, among others. The funding comes just 18 months since it raised $90 million in its previous round. 

With the latest investment, Mirakl, founded in 2012, is worth $1.5 billion, making it the latest startup to join the vaunted "unicorn" status.

Mirakl's funding shows the investor bullishness on the e-commerce sector is trickling down to smaller startups as well. The coronavirus-driven shift to online shopping has boosted the value of large retailers like Amazon, eBay, and Shopify to record levels this year, while startups including Instacart, OfferUp, and Thrasio announced new fundings in recent months as well.

Most notably, Mirakl's funding took just 43 days to complete, reflecting the excitement around its marketplace technology, according to its co-founder and US CEO Adrien Nussenbaum. He said the need for an online marketplace, where companies allow third-party merchants to sell directly to their existing customers, will only grow, as more retailers expand their online presence and even non-retail sectors, like food and hospitality, look to adopt the service. 

COVID-19 is only accelerating that growth. Mirakl doubled last year's US revenue, which accounts for 40% of its total sales, in just one quarter this year, he said. In the first six months of this year, Mirakl has signed 25 new customers and launched 18 new marketplaces. Currently, over 300 companies, including Best Buy, Kroger, and Office Depot, use Mirakl's technology to power their online marketplaces.

"Everything we do on a daily basis is mostly provided by some form of marketplace, whether it's transportation, hospitality, or food," Nussenbaum said. "And COVID is putting pressure on Mirakl's potential clients to move a bit faster than before." 

Mirakl's rapid growth has a lot to do with Amazon's success, too, Nussenbaum said. 

Amazon was one of the first online retailers to run a marketplace at scale, becoming an "ambassador" to the online marketplace model, he said. Now, third-party sellers account for almost 90% of the products listed on Amazon and roughly 60% of the products sold on the site, according to Amazon.

That's led to more big box retailers, like Walmart and Target, launching their own marketplaces in recent years, growing the general interest in Mirakl's core business. It's also spawned the creation of more third-party merchants, who sell on online marketplaces. These merchants like to sell through online marketplaces, instead of just relying on their own websites, because they help diversify their sales channel and potentially reach a larger audience, pushing more retailers to consider adopting Mirakl's marketplace technology.

"We are benefiting from Amazon's vision," Nussenbaum said.

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