Online personal care and beauty products platform Purplle.com has raised an undisclosed amount in its seed funding from Blume Ventures, Mumbai Angels and Chennai Angels. The funds will primarily be used for increasing the number of brands and SKUs offered on the site. The company will also use it for expanding its supply chain capabilities, warehouses and for technology development.
“Raising capital is not just critical but also strategic to a company’s growth in our segment, as it is imperative for scaling up faster than the industry average,” said Manish Taneja, co-founder and CEO, Purplle.
The Mumbai-based startup was co-founded by Taneja (CEO) and Rahul Dash in late 2011 and the website went live in January 2012. The portal offers products for men and women pertaining to skin care, make up, hair care, body care, and beauty appliances (electronics). The brands available on the site include high-end brands like Davidoff, Hugo Boss, Elizabeth Arden, Victoria’s Secret as well as Lakme, L’Oreal, and Maybelline.com.
The site claims to be offering around 10,000 SKUS and plans to increase this to 15,000. It is also looking to increase the number of brands available from 400 to over 500. The company is also looking to expand the customer base and for the same it will spend on brand building activities. Apart from the e-commerce part, the site lists over 2,000 salons and spas in Mumbai, Delhi and Gurgaon. For the same, the company has tied up with brands like Enrich, Jawed Habib, B Blunt, Jean Claude Biquine, etc. The information offered includes contact numbers, addresses, reviews, location and the offers available.
Apart from Mumbai, the company also has branch offices in the NCR region and is now planning to open a new one in Bangalore. Besides, the company is planning to expand the salon and spa finder to eight cities, including Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad and Chennai, by mid-2014.
The website faces competition from both brands that have their own e-commerce sites (like Amway, Himalaya, The Body Shop and Fab India) as well as from general e-com players like Snapdeal, Goodlife.com, VoiletBag, MedPlusBeauty, and LadyBlush, which also offer personal care products.
In March this year, Gurgaon-based women-focused e-tailer Ladyblush had secured an undisclosed amount from Bangkok-based VC fund Alpha Founders. This was the first round of investment in the company. Other unnamed independent investors were also part of the round.
(Edited by Joby Puthuparampil Johnson)