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Beauty E-comm Goes Skyward

Manish Taneja’s vision married two elements – the beauty sector and the e-commerce platform that opened this sector to newer market segments

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It all began with a discussion Manish Taneja had with his flatmate in Mumbai. It could be called the meeting of the like-minded because both Taneja and Rahul Dash, who are both co-founders of Purplle.com, were inclined towards entrepreneurship.  

In 2011, the internet took off in India again and monthly active users increased remarkably. This was the time when the two were clear that the ‘internet would be core’ to their business. Purplle was born on December 26, 2011, after the primary due diligence, visits to beauty product stores and believing their initial assumptions about the freshly-baked business model.   

Growth and More Growth 

The business model must have resonated with more because Purplle.com today is among the leading beauty e-commerce platforms and has recorded “unmatchable growth”, making beauty accessible to people across the country. Calling itself the most capital efficient brand, it has raised $160 million in primary capital and a major of this is still in the bank.  

The company is currently growing at 100 per cent y-o-y and aims to reach a gross merchandise value of Rs 1,400 crore in FY22. The company follows a two-fold monetisation model where it collects commission from brands that sell on the platform and earns revenue from advertising because of the scale of visitors and consumers on the platform. 

The Business Model  

Purplle is a large independent marketplace for beauty brands and is fully aided with tech and recommendation engines to enable brands to target the right consumers. 

“Being among a growing tide of first-generation entrepreneurs, my entrepreneurial journey is a mixture of very high highs and deep lows,” says Taneja, adding, “Starting from our early days, where our colleagues invested through the friends and family round to today where investors including, Verlinvest, Kedaara, Sequoia Capital India, Goldman Sachs, Blume Ventures, IvyCap Ventures and Premji invest in Purplle.” 

Purplle is focused to deliver six to eight times growth over the next five years, to place it among the largest Indian beauty companies. The brand currently employs 2,400 people and aims to generate 10,000 jobs over the next few years.