Glossier Reaches $100M, Raises $100M
Glossier — which reached $100 million in sales in 2018 — has raised $100 million in a Series D round.
The funding was led by Sequoia Capital, a venture firm that is also invested in Charlotte Tilbury, with participation from Tiger Global Management, Spark Capital and existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital, IVP and Index Ventures. The business has now raised $186.4 million in total.
The business has also appointed tech veteran Vanessa Wittman chief financial officer, following the departure of Henry Davis, who served in the role for roughly five months after a much longer stint as president and chief operating officer. Wittman has served as cfo for companies like Oath, Dropbox, Motorola Mobility and Marsh & McLennan.
Glossier has hired Edith Chen as vice president of supply chain operations, and Nick DeAngelo as vice president of operations. Chen joined from LF Beauty, part of Li & Fung, and DeAngelo joined from Jet.com, now owned by Wal-mart.
Glossier founder and chief executive officer Emily Weiss was not made available for interviews Tuesday, but reiterated the company's stance on the importance of owning its distribution channel and relationships with consumers in a company statement.
Those points were also crucial to Glossier's new investors. Sequoia's Michael Abramson, partner, called the brand "one of the most efficient direct-to-consumer businesses" and Megan Quinn, general partner at Spark Capital, said that beauty conglomerates are "ill-equipped" for the online beauty era, and that Glossier "is the defining company of this new channel."
Big beauty companies, like the Estée Lauder Cos. and L'Oréal, however, have consistently pointed out that the rise of digital has been a key driver for their already big brands.
“Digital…make it easier to rise quickly but it also makes it easier to fall quickly,” said L'Oréal chairman and ceo Jean Paul Agon in October. “The press, or analysts or investors keep asking, ‘yeah, but you know it’s the end of the big brands’…it’s exactly the contrary. Digital, in fact, is supporting the rise of the big brands.”
Glossier may just be on its way to becoming one of those big guys.
The business more than doubled in 2018, reaching $100 million in sales for the first time, and has continued to roll out globally at the same time as it doubles down on digital community building. The business now has more than 200 employees and operates in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., Ireland, France, Denmark and Sweden.
Glossier also introduced its first sub-brand — Glossier Play — earlier this March. It's the brand's first deviation from its core no-makeup makeup look, and offers a selection of more pigmented products.
Weiss has been open about the company's goals, noting in prior interviews that Glossier aims to own the direct channel in the same way that legacy beauty companies dominated other channels, and acknowledging the possibility of an initial public offering.
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