Mirakl, the infallible champion of French Tech who wants to become a global giant in e-commerce

The French Tech ecosystem is struggling, the e-commerce market is stalling, but the French champion Mirakl continues its growth unfailingly. For three years now, the marketplace specialist (e-commerce sites that offer products from different sellers) has been presenting its annual results, as if preparing for this obligatory exercise for publicly traded companies.

Chinese giant TikTok is gaining ground in Indonesian e-commerce

In 2023, despite the turbulence, Mirakl continued its transformation from a startup to a large company, while other champions of the French Tech, such as Ledger or Back Market, had to rethink their roadmap. The e-commerce company claims to have achieved profitability on its historical product, the Mirakl Platform software.

In other words, if it stopped innovating and exploring new growth channels, it would be able to generate profits. But as it continues to invest to become more than a niche giant, it is not yet at breakeven. The company wants to “continue to disrupt to avoid being disrupted,” emphasizes Adrien Nussenbaum, who shares the role of CEO of Mirakl with his co-founder.

Hypergrowth still on track

To match words with deeds, the company secured a $100 million revolving credit last summer. The objective is to accelerate its external growth. In other words, to be able to acquire strategic companies when the opportunity arises. Mirakl’s last fundraising (473 million euros, a record at the time) dates back to 2021, before the startup funding crisis.

Fundraising: French Tech enters a new era

While the company focuses on its external growth, it also maintains its internal hypergrowth. Compared to last year, its annual recurring revenue (the benchmark for SaaS software publishers) increased by 20% to $160 million and its number of clients by 12% (over 450 million). Furthermore, the volume of business of its clients, meaning the amount of money spent on marketplaces edited by Mirakl, has soared by 50% to $8.6 billion. All this “while e-commerce growth is at best stagnant,” reminds Adrien Nussenbaum.

To demonstrate that this drastic increase in volume does not only correspond to an increase in the number of clients, Mirakl highlights a new indicator: 30 of its clients – out of more than 450 – each generate over $100 million in revenue on their marketplace. “We are creating giants,” boasts the company’s CEO, who adds new famous names to its client portfolio every year.

A Mirakl suite to become an e-commerce giant

Over the past five years, Mirakl has gradually laid the foundations for a software ecosystem strategy around its historical product, the marketplace editor. The first step, Mirakl Connect, was launched in 2019: it is a base of third-party sellers, which the startup’s clients can easily connect to their marketplace. In 2023, it includes renowned brands such as Balmain, Burberry, Zadig and Voltaire, or in a different style, Whirpool.

For these companies, Connect is an easy and inexpensive way to find new sales channels for their products. For marketplace managers, it is a way to quickly fill their catalog with products listed by over 13,000 vendors whose reliability has already been verified.

But it was really in 2022 that Mirakl accelerated its horizontal development strategy with the introduction of Payout, a software to simplify payments to third-party sellers, before acquiring and integrating Target2Sell. This is a tool of AI designed to better personalize search results for buyers on the marketplace. Then, last year, it launched a catalog management software, which allows to enhance product description pages in order to increase their conversion rates.

The goal of this suite of six software? To stay one step ahead of the competition so that its position as a leader is not challenged. “We were a single-product company, we are now a multi-product company,” promotes Adrien Nussenbaum.

Advertising and AI, new growth levers

Among all its more or less new software, Mirakl particularly focuses on Mirakl Ads, its advertising campaign management tool. “In 2023, more than $25 billion were spent on advertising on Amazon. It’s a market that will reach $140 billion in 2024,” enumerates Octavie Gosselin, vice-president of Mirakl in charge of the new product.

Online advertising has emerged in recent years, along with the cloud, as the primary growth and profitability driver for Amazon. The company is making inroads in a market dominated by Google and Meta, with its dominance in the retail media subsector, where margins exceed 70%. With over two billion visitors per month on the platforms it edits, Mirakl also hopes to get its clients a piece of the pie. It offers them a new way to monetize their audience and in the process, gains new recurring revenues. For now, its tools allow to sponsor products, and by the end of the first quarter, to insert video ads.

As the French Tech champion navigates a turn in its business model, it has already convinced 65 of its over 450 clients to test its new software suite. In parallel, it plans to double its investments in artificial intelligence (an effort for which it refuses to disclose the exact amount) to improve its products, and even launch new generative AI features during the year, relying notably on models from OpenAI and French Mistral AI.