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Sequoia-backed Cosmetics Retailer Purplle Emerges As India’s Latest Unicorn

Purplle was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumnus, Manish Taneja and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Rahul Dash. Purplle has emerged as one of India’s ace online personal care platforms

Photo Credit : Purplle

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Purplle CEO Manish Taneja

Sequoia- backed beauty startup, Purplle, entered the Unicorn club after securing USD 33 Mn in its Series E funding round. The round was led by South Korean VC firm, Paramark Ventures. Pre-existing backers including Premji Invest, Blume Ventures and PE firm, Kedaara Capital also joined in the funding round. The company has raised a total of USD 215 Mn after the latest funding round. 

Purplle was founded in 2012 by IIT Delhi alumnus, Manish Taneja and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, Rahul Dash. Purplle has emerged as one of India’s ace online personal care platforms.

The firm has raked in funds from marquee investors including Goldman Sachs, JSW Ventures along with Blume Ventures, Kedaara Capital, and Premji Invest. Co-founder and CEO, Manish Taneja, said that the company plans to utilise the funds to invest in technology and drill deeper into India. The Mumbai-based firm will also scale its private brands and industry-first innovations, added Taneja. 

Purplle recently closed its Series D funding round after driving in funds worth USD 140 Mn led by Kedaara Capital and Azim Premji’s Premji Invest. The company is considered a rival to Falguni Nayar-led brand, Nykaa. 

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

Purplle has become India’s 102nd unicorn, at a valuation of USD 1.1 Bn, after PhysicsWallah recently entered the club to become India’s 101st. The two startups put an end to India’s unicorn crunch, setting up two unicorns in a single week compared to one in the whole of May. 

"Purplle is addressing the enormous vacuum in the beauty and personal care industry in India in a way that the rising demand from massive Indian consumers can be best served beyond the limited set of customers in a few major cities," said Chunsoo Kim, Founder and Managing Partner of Paramark Ventures.

"We find the team’s determination and endeavor to build a long-lasting business to serve such needs of the Indian market through technology and customer delight both apparent and inspiring," added Chunsoo.

Formally known as Manash Lifestyle Pvt, Purplle handled a gross merchandise value of INR 1,400 Cr in FY21, cataloging 60,000 beauty and personal care products and accessories from over 1,000 brands on its platforms. Similar to Nykaa, Purplle retails its own products under a private label.


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