Purplle funding

Purplle, an online beauty store, has secured $45 million (about Rs 326 crore) from Sequoia Capital India and existing investors Blume Ventures, Verlinvest, and JSW Ventures, the company said in a statement. The round witnessed the company’s value rise to Rs 2,200 crore, sources said.

It also saw Ivy Cap Ventures, an early backer of Purplle, partially exit with 22X gains, the release said. IvyCap bought a 30% stake in Purplle for Rs 15 crore in 2015, when the company was valued at Rs 50 crore. Now it has sold a part of its stake for Rs 330 crore, making this one of the largest returns ever for a rupee fund.

Vikram Gupta, founder and managing partner of IvyCap, said, “We were confident that digital would disrupt and redefine the beauty industry in India. We continue to believe in the growth of the company and thus have retained our stake for Fund 2.”

This partial exit has helped the firm raise 1.35 times its entire Fund 1 value of Rs 240 crore, which it raised in 2013 from various domestic financial institutions. These included large banks, insurance companies, the Small Industries Development Bank of India, and the IIT Alumni Trust. It later secured a fund of Rs 535 crore in 2018 and invested in follow-on rounds in Purplle from its second fund too. “Domestic institutional investors will have seen these kinds of returns for the first time from Indian VC investment. Domestic investors should get a lot of confidence in investing in this asset class going forward,” Gupta added.

Founded in 2012, Purplle has 70 million active monthly users. The beauty e-retailer has about 50,000 products from more than 1,000 brands on its website and app, the company said. It raised Series C funding towards the end of 2019 from Goldman Sachs and Verlinvest.

The firm has registered 90% growth in gross merchandise value (GMV) in the last three years. Manish Taneja, co-founder of Purplle said, “The investment will help to shape Purplle into a multibillion-dollar, digital-first, beauty and personal care enterprise.”

“We are seeing a growing trend towards the gentrification of e-commerce in India. Consumers are making a clear distinction between distribution platforms and brands that are more relevant to them,” said Sakshi Chopra, principal, Sequoia India. “We see Purplle emerging as a dominant beauty destination as penetration of the online beauty market grows from 10% to more than 25% over the next decade,” she added.

Purplle joins a list of beauty and wellness brands that have recently secured capital from investors. These comprise of MyGlamm, Sugar Cosmetics, Mamaearth, Juicy Chemistry, and Plum Cosmetics, among others.

Arjun Anand, executive director at Verlinvest said, “Despite Covid, Purplle delivered remarkable growth. We believed in their mission of democratizing beauty across the heartlands of India, with affordable and accessible products.”