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Faire Hires First Legal Head After Getting $12 Billion Valuation

Jan. 31, 2022, 11:31 PM

Faire Wholesale Inc., an online marketplace valued at more than $12 billion, announced Monday the hire of its first-ever general counsel in Lauren Thomas.

Thomas, a former corporate associate at Wachtell, Lipton, Rosen & Katz, joined Faire in January after spending nearly the past year as general counsel for Dutchie LLC, a payment services provider to the cannabis industry.

Faire said in a statement that Thomas has more than a decade of financial, regulatory, and corporate governance expertise. She didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment about her decision to switch jobs.

The San Francisco-based startup specializes in selling items to small businesses and shops. In November the company raised $400 million in Series G financing, valuing Faire at $12.4 billion.

Fenwick & West advised Faire on its most recent fundraising, which was led by D1 Capital Partners LLC, Dragoneer Investment Group, and Durable Capital Partners LP. The Silicon Valley-based law firm has previously counseled Faire, founded in 2017, on several previous funding rounds.

Thomas previously served as general counsel and chief compliance officer for digital banking startup Good Money Group Inc. and a corporate counsel at Square Inc., a mobile payments startup that in December changed its name to Block & Co. She left Good Money last year to become legal chief at Dutchie.

Lauren Thomas

Faire co-founder and CEO Max Rhodes, who previously worked with Thomas at Square, said Monday via LinkedIn that he is excited to reunite with a lawyer familiar with the “gnarliest regulatory challenges.” Thomas will lead all corporate, strategic, and tactical initiatives at Faire, Rhodes said.

Faire said that Thomas helped Dutchie “navigate extremely complex regulatory and legal challenges, ultimately scaling the brand’s counsel function to a team of seven.”

Since recruiting Thomas in March 2021, Dutchie has hired several lawyers to build out its legal and public policy ranks. Bryan Barash, a former general counsel to retiring Massachusetts Senate President Harriette Chandler, joined Dutchie last summer as its head of public policy and strategy.

Dutchie also hired director of government relations and regulatory affairs Erica Woods last year from Facebook Inc. and senior product counsel Jonathan Herczeg from Uber Technologies Inc.

Dutchie, which didn’t respond to a request for comment about Thomas’ exit, was valued at nearly $3.8 billion in October after completing a $350 million fundraising.

Goodwin Procter advised Dutchie on that Series D financing, which also included D1 Capital, Dragoneer, and Casa Verde Capital LLC, the latter backed by rapper and entrepreneur Calvin “Snoop Dogg” Broadus Jr.

To contact the reporter on this story: Brian Baxter in New York at bbaxter@bloomberglaw.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Chris Opfer at copfer@bloomberglaw.com; John Hughes at jhughes@bloombergindustry.com