Home/ Companies / Start-ups/  Purplle raises $8 million from Verlinvest

Online beauty and makeup products retailer Purplle said on Monday that it has raised $8 million as part of its Series C round from Belgian investment firm Verlinvest.

Mint first reported on 12 December that American investment bank Goldman Sachs and Verlinvest are leading a $40-million round in the startup.

Founded by Rahul Dash and Manish Taneja, Purplle sells makeup products and fashion accessories, as well as wellness products for men and women on its website. Besides selling renowned brands, it has also introduced its private label, along the lines of its rival, Nykaa. It also provides makeup content and guided videos from bloggers.

The capital will be used to boost supply of brands on its platform, invest in women-focused digital content, create a personalized experience for users driven by its recommendation engine and brand building.

Purplle competes directly and indirectly with Nykaa, founded by veteran investment banker Falguni Nayar, Sugar Cosmetics and skincare startup Plum, which is backed by Unilever Ventures, the venture capital and private equity arm of consumer giant Unilever.

While Sugar Cosmetics raised $10 million in 2019 from A91 Partners, Nykaa secured 100 crore from TPG Growth in April 2019, at a valuation of 5,000 crore. However, unlike Nykaa, Purplle is looking at Tier 2 and 3 cities for growth.

Nykaa turned profitable in FY19, it claimed last month, turning a profit of 2 crore on a revenue of about 1,160 crore. Verlinvest has been an active investor in Indian consumer companies in the last few years. Its bets include Epigamia Foods, sauce-maker Veeba, Sula Vineyards, and online education firm Byju’s, among others.

Verlinvest was founded in 1995 as a family-owned business by the founding families of beer giant Anheuser-Busch InBev, with over a billion dollars in assets under management.

The Indian online beauty and personal care market—valued at $7 billion—is estimated to be growing at more than 15% year-on-year, driven by increased awareness of the category and penetration into second and third tier cities, Purplle said in a statement.

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Updated: 13 Jan 2020, 10:06 PM IST
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