Purplle, India’s Newest Unicorn, Charts A Plan To Turn Profitable In 30 Months


Having crossed the $1-billion valuation mark, Purplle, the cosmetics and personal care products e-commerce platform, has drawn up a three-pronged strategy to achieve break-even at net level in 30 months.

“We now have more than $100 million (approx Rs 800 crore) in the bank, and the plan is to invest it in three areas—to strengthen data and technology, acquire more brands, and ramp up marketing as we seek to become a household company,” Manish Taneja, co-founder and chief executive officer of Purplle, told BQ Prime in an exclusive interaction.

Founded in 2012, the company recently raised $33 million (Rs 250 crore) as part of its Series E funding round, led by South Korea’s Paramark Ventures, taking the total funding to over $215 million at a valuation of $1.1 billion. The newly minted unicorn also counts Sequoia Capital India, Goldman Sachs, Blume Ventures, Verlinvest, Kedaara Capital, and billionaire Azim Premji’s Premji Invest as backers.

The etailer of beauty products has 70 lakh monthly active users, over 1,000 brands, 60,000 products, and five private label brands.

Unlike traditional fast-moving consumer goods companies, Purplle thrives on personalisation, said Taneja. “And for this, we need a lot of data. So, we would continue to invest immensely in this space.”

Acquisition Strategy

The company is looking to acquire smaller beauty and wellness brands with a “unique voice”, “passionate” founders, and ranking high on corporate governance, Taneja said.

Hair colour, hair appliances, “differentiated” skincare and beauty products are some of the segments which the company is looking to invest in.

Taneja said they are looking to “take risks with a limited amount of capital”. “So, we would restrict ourselves to up to $100-120 million, which is 10% of our value.”

“We aren’t the right partners for businesses if they are not here for the long term,” he said. “So, we don’t buy such brands. We will engage carefully.”

Purplle has also set aside Rs 200 crore, as part of its marketing spend for FY23–a growth of 50% over last year.

“We have signed regional brand ambassadors like Sara Ali Khan for the Hindi speaking belt, Yami Gautam for Faces Canada and Good Vibes, and OTT star Mithila Palkar for our feminine hygiene brand Carmesi,” Taneja said. “So, we have enough in our fold. Now, the idea is to make good content and spend on promoting them.”

Purplle plans to double down on onboarding influencers as well to promote the brand. It typically works with over a thousand influencers every year.


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