Purple Funding: Online Beauty Retailer Purplle Raises $33M and Goes Unicorn

Mumbai: Purplle, an online retailer of beauty and personal care products, raised $33 million from Paramark Ventures at a valuation of $1.1 billion.

Purplle became the Indian tech startup to join the unicorn club – or those private companies valued at $1 billion or more – this week after online education company PhysicsWallah.

This comes amid a funding winter in the global startup ecosystem.

“My view is that if you’re a good company, if your unit economics are in place, you’re good founders, and if your corporate governance is top-notch, I don’t think there’s There’s never been a funding winter,” co-founder and chief executive Manish Taneja told ET.

Existing investors Premji Invest, Blume Ventures and Kedaara Capital also participated in the round. The company has raised $215 million so far, including the latest round. Its previous investors are Goldman Sachs and Verlinvest.

Purplle was valued at $630 million when it last raised in November.

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“From the first quarter of FY22 to the first quarter of FY23, our revenue more than doubled. In addition, the activity has diversified. Although online still accounts for the lion’s share of our revenue, offline is also now quite significant. I think that’s what probably allowed us to get a valuation that’s almost double what it was in the last round,” Taneja said.

The company was founded in 2012 by Taneja, Suyash Katyayani and Rahul Dash.

Its annualized gross market value (GMV) was $180 million in FY22.

Purplle said it would use the funds for marketing, advertising and brand and technology building.

Purpleple, which competes with a bigger rival

, has seven million monthly active users and more than 1,000 brands on its platform, including five house brands. It is strong in non-metropolitan cities.

Last year, Purplle acquired cosmetics and skincare brand Faces Canada. After the acquisition, the company is expected to have recorded a combined revenue of Rs 750 crore, ET reported last month. Taneja said there are no plans to acquire another company in the next 3-6 months.

“Any acquisition, if it is important, generally requires integration time. Otherwise, you don’t really get any synergies from an acquisition. So at the moment we are very happy and busy with the integration of Faces to Purpleple,” he said.

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The online beauty market, traditionally dominated by large multinationals, has seen startups like The Good Glamm Group, Sugar Cosmetics and Mamaearth raise substantial funds over the past two years.

Recently, Sugar Cosmetics raised $50 million under the leadership of L Catterton.

ET reported on May 4 that The Good Glamm Group was in talks to assemble a $250 million round at a valuation of $1.8-2 billion. The increase in beauty funding follows Nykaa’s successful IPO last year, when it debuted on Indian stock exchanges with a market capitalization of $7.1 billion. .

As other beauty players and operators Plum, Sugar Cosmetics and Nykaa eye aggressive brick-and-mortar retail expansion, Taneja said Purplle would be mindful of aggressive offline expansion, even if its private labels Faces Canada and Good Vibes benefited from the reopening of offline stores and their presence on 5,000 offline touch points.

“Given inflationary pressure this year, and therefore likely demand pressure, we will be cautious in our expansion…Are we expanding aggressively? I think that’s something we’ll be watching. We will have our eyes and ears on the ground and see how it plays out and then potentially go faster during the festival term, which is September to December,” he said.

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