How Purplle founded by an engineer became a Unicorn

Beauty brand and e-commerce platform Purplle, founded by engineer Manish Taneja, recently became India’s latest unicorn Spare a few minutes to know more about it.

E-commerce platform

The brand Purplle was founded in 2012 and headquartered in Mumbai. It is an e-commerce platform as well as a popular cosmetic brand. They also have retail stores. Their budget friendly option makes Purplle different from others.

The company is India’s latest Unicorn and has recently raised Rs 256 crore of Series E financing from South Korea’s Paramark Ventures.

Company has raised $33 million

The company was co-founded by Manish Taneja, Rahul Dash and Suyash Katyayani. The trio have raised $33 million from Paramark Ventures at a valuation of $1.1 billion. Premji Invest, Blume Ventures and Kedaara Capital are the existing investors in the company.

Founded in 2012

Manish, an electrical engineering graduate from IIT, Delhi passed the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) test in 2010. He started his career as an intern in a venture capital-funded technology company. Later, he worked as an analyst for more than four years. In 2012, he quit his job to start Purplle with two partners, with an aim of #BeautyForAll.

Nykaa rival

The largest rival of the company is Nykaa, which became a Unicorn startup in 2020.

Purplle has seven million monthly active users and over 1,000 brands on its platform, including five private labels. The brand has a strong presence in Tier 2 and 3 cities as well. Last year, they acquired another prominent cosmetic brand, Faces Canada.

From the first quarter of FY22 to Q1 of FY23, the 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.

Middle class buyers

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

Chunsoo Kim, founder and managing partner of Paramark Ventures, says, “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.”

“Apart from hiring talent, the company is scripting its growth story and differentiating itself by leveraging data and being positive at the unit economics level.

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