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Business News/ News / India/  Manish Taneja left a high-paying job; his company Purplle is now India’s newest unicorn

Manish Taneja’s LinkedIn profile reads: “Experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of scaling an internet startup, raising capital, building 100 people plus teams. Skilled in Equity Research, Options, Equities, Mergers & Acquisitions, and Private Equity. Strong entrepreneurship professional with a Passed CFA - Level 3 focused in Finance from CFA Institute."

If you are wondering who Manish Taneja is, you may know the company he has built - Purplle. Online cosmetics retailer, on June 9, became the second billion-dollar company to be created in India this week despite bitter investor sentiment on startups. It was only on June 8 that India had its latest unicorn. Edtech startup Physicswallah, founded by Alakh Pandey raised $100 million from backers including WestBridge Capital and GSV Ventures at a $1.1 billion valuation. Now, it’s Purplle’s turn. Purplle has raised $215 million in total funding and plans to use the funds to increase technical investments, develop private labels, and refine its product.

Purplle, originally known as Manash Lifestyle Pvt, was founded in 2012 by three IIT engineers, Manish Taneja, Rahul Dash, and Suyash Katyayani. In the fiscal year that ended in March, it handled $180 million in gross merchandise value, with 60,000 beauty and personal care goods and accessories from over 1,000 brands available on its website and app.

Manish Taneja left a high-paying job to get into the fashion industry, and he apparently found his mojo. Manish Taneja's company previously raised $45 million in funding from Sequoia Capital India and other investors. The CEO earlier stated that the company aimed to reach a revenue of 1,000 crore in the next four to five years. And, a visionary like Taneja is not going to stop there. He plans to launch an IPO and look ahead to become a listed company.

“"Right time for us is to continue to build momentum, keep growing at 80 per cent year-on-year. In three-four years, we will be like a mammoth potentially going for an IPO," Purplle CEO Manish Taneja told PTI in October 2021.

Purplle, backed by Goldman Sachs Group Inc, is a major competitor of Nykaa. Nykaa’s parent company, FSN E-Commerce Ventures Ltd., made one of India's most successful market debuts just as global investment circumstances began to deteriorate. Nykaa's current market capitalisation is $8.7 billion.

Like Nykaa, Manish Taneja's company also sells its own products under a private label. However, unlike its rival, Purplle targets middle-class buyers from smaller Indian towns who look for value. Indian consumers are increasingly taking to these newer, aggressively-priced brands, many of which tout chemical-free products.

“Consumer products makers may be seeing inflationary pressures, but Purplle continues to clock 70% year-on-year volume growth," co-founder Manish Taneja earlier said. “Innovation in the beauty market is digital-first."

Manish Taneja's LinkedIn profile has an Elisabeth Kubler-Ross: "People are like stained glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within." Seems like Taneja is on a mission to follow this ideology to build: #BeautyForAll.

(With agency inputs)

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Sounak Mukhopadhyay
Sounak Mukhopadhyay, who also goes by the name Sounak Mukherjee, has been producing digital news since 2012. He's worked for the International Business Times, The Inquisitr, and Moneycontrol in the past. He's also contributed to Free Press Journal and TheRichest with feature articles. He covers news for a wide range of subjects including business, finance, economy, politics and social media. Before working with digital news publications, he worked as a freelance content writer.
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Updated: 09 Jun 2022, 02:29 PM IST
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