How online beauty startup Purplle is building a remarkable growth story
— the Mumbai-based online beauty brand — is creating a place for itself in the Indian cosmetic industry.
Founded in 2011, the direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand recently raised $75 million in a round led by Kedaara, Sequoia Capital India, and Blume Ventures.
According to Manish Taneja, Co-founder and CEO, Purplle.com, the fundraising was done in record time, and it took only three months for the startup to raise capital.
“We also saw unprecedented interest in investing in Purplle. So, we are really thankful to all the investors who shared their interest in us, but at the same time, also obeyed the timelines we had set for them,” he said.
Purplle considers Kedaara as one of the finest investors in its cap table as it is a good cultural fit for the company and vice versa.
Manish said the company’s valuation has gone up as a result of the brand becoming larger and stable. “Valuation is just in the eyes of the beholder,” he said, adding Purplle is now valued a little higher than where it was two years ago.
“We’ve been growing at a CAGR of about 90 percent for the last three years, while the market has been growing at 35 percent online. We are capturing the market share, and that’s been our ambition,” he said.
Talking about a renewed interest in buying online among consumers, last year, the clean beauty brands saw more traction, with their natural segment running the show.
However, this year, the makeup category is seeing a massive resurgence, with traditional and new makeup categories doing exceptionally well.
“We are operating at Rs 100 crore a month of GMV,” said Manish. On an annualised basis, Purplle is operating at about Rs 1200 crore of GMV, which translates to net sales of about Rs 65-70 crore a month.
Since the startup’s market share is small, there is huge room for growth. Purplle runs an efficient business and has been close to profitability for the last two years. The startup is focusing on growth for the next two years.
Moving forward, the startup aims to acquire more companies in the beauty or content space. Purplle has had a successful history of M&As, with the acquisition of Stay Quirky and Carmesi.
“This year, we bought a minority stake in Juicy Chemistry. Going forward, Purplle will keenly look at differentiated brands,” Manish added.
Manish said in the coming years, the company’s focus will entirely be on the beauty and personal care segment.
Besides, the startup plans to experiment to find green shoots. However, increasing market share is going to be its primary area of focus.
At present, the startup is not planning for an IPO for the next two years. Purplle is well capitalised, and hence there is no need to raise capital, Manish claimed.
All of Purplle’s investors have invested in it for the long-term, and thus, have a long way to go before their investors need exits.
“We will stay prepared, and whenever the time is right, we will definitely hit the public markets,” said Manish.