Purplle has become the Indian tech startup to join the unicorn club – or those privately held companies with a valuation of $1 billion or more – this week after online education venture 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 is in place, you are good founders and if your corporate governance is top notch then I don’t think that there is ever a funding winter,” cofounder 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 include Goldman Sachs and Verlinvest.
Purplle’s valuation was valued at $630 million during its last fundraise in November.
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“From the first quarter of FY22 to Q1 of FY23, our revenue has more than doubled. Also, the business has become more diversified. While online is obviously still the lion’s share of our revenue, offline is also now quite significant. I think that’s what’s probably led to us being able to command a valuation that is almost double of what it was in the last round,” Taneja said.
The company was founded in 2012 by Taneja, Suyash Katyayani and Rahul Dash.
Its annualised gross merchandise value (GMV) was $180 million in FY22.
Purplle said it would utilise the funds for marketing, advertising, and strengthening brand and technology.
Purplle, which competes with larger rival
, has seven million monthly active users and over 1,000 brands on its platform, including five private labels. It is strong in non-metro cities.
Last year, Purplle acquired cosmetics and skincare brand Faces Canada. After the acquisition, the company is expected to have clocked Rs 750 crore in combined revenue, ET reported last month. Taneja said there were no plans to acquire another company for the next 3-6 months.
“Any acquisition, if it is a sizable one, typically needs time for integration. Otherwise, you don’t really get any synergies from an acquisition. So, for the moment, we’re very happy and busy with integrating Faces to Purplle,” he said.
The online beauty market, traditionally dominated by large multinational companies, has seen startups like The Good Glamm Group, Sugar Cosmetics, and Mamaearth raise substantial funds in the last two years.
Recently, Sugar Cosmetics raised $50 million led by L Catterton.
reported on May 4 that The Good Glamm Group has been in talks to stitch a $250 million round at a valuation of $1.8-$2 billion. The increased funding in the beauty space comes on the back of Nykaa’s blockbuster IPO last year, when it debuted on the Indian bourses at a $7.1 billion market capitalisation.
While other beauty players and operators Plum, Sugar Cosmetics, and Nykaa are looking at aggressive physical retail expansion, Taneja said Purplle will be mindful about expanding offline aggressively, even as its private brands Faces Canada and Good Vibes have benefited from offline stores reopening and their presences across 5,000 offline touch points.
“Given the inflationary pressure this year, and therefore probably pressure on demand, we’ll be careful in how we expand… Do we expand aggressively? I think it’s something that we will be watching for. We will have our eyes and ears on the ground and see how it plays out and then potentially move faster in the festival quarter, which is September-December,” he said.