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Verlinvest backs beauty e-tailer Purplle in extended Series C funding round
Photo Credit: VCCircle

Manash Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd, which operates beauty products and services marketplace Purplle.com, has raised Rs 56 crore ($8 million) from Belgian private investment firm Verlinvest SA in an extended Series C round.

The capital from Verlinvest will be used to strengthen Purplle’s supply chain, innovation and technology capabilities as well as for brand-building, according to a press statement.

Purplle raised $30 million in its Series C round led by global investment bank Goldman Sachs last December. Existing investors IvyCap Ventures, Blume Ventures and JSW Ventures also participated in that transaction.

“We are happy to welcome Verlinvest, a long-term high-quality investor, into the Purplle family. This investment aligns with our intent of creating a sustainable multi-decade enterprise,” said Manish Taneja, founder of Purplle.

Purplle was founded by Taneja, an IIT Delhi alumnus, and Rahul Dash, an IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad alumnus, in 2012. The company operates a beauty and personal care e-commerce platform. It said it has 47,500 stock keeping units (SKUs) across more than 1,000 third-party and own brands.

The firm said it seeks to tap into India's $7 billion online beauty and personal care market that is estimated to be growing at a compound annual rate of more than 15%.

The company had posted net sales of Rs 100 crore during financial year 2018-19 as against Rs 31 crore a year before. However, it is yet to achieve operational breakeven, according to VCCEdge, the financial data platform of Mosaic Digital.

“We believe consumer preferences are changing rapidly with online penetration in this space and Purplle has great momentum to delight Indian consumers,” said Arjun Anand, Verlinvest’s India head of investments.

Verlinvest

Verlinvest has made a series of investments in consumer-sector companies recently. In May last year, it joined hands with World Bank’s International Finance Corporation to invest Rs 280 crore (about $40.15 million) in Future Group-owned Future Consumer Ltd.

Earlier that month, it led a Rs 182 crore Series C funding round in Drums Food International Pvt. Ltd, which sells yogurt under the brand Epigamia.

In 2018, Verlinvest increased its stake in Sula Vineyards Pvt. Ltd in a deal that also involved an American family office coming as a new investor in India's largest wine maker. The overall deal was worth around Rs 364 crore, VCCircle reported at the time.

Verlinvest is also a limited partner of several Indian funds such as early-stage venture capital firm DSG Consumer Partners and homegrown private equity major Everstone Capital.  

Beauty is big business

The broader beauty and personal care segment has attracted a slew of investors in the past few years.

In April last year, beauty e-tailer Nykaa raised Rs 100 crore in a fresh round of funding from US-based private equity firm TPG Growth. Nykaa had also raised capital from mid-market private equity firm Lighthouse last September, paving the way for existing investor TVS Capital Funds to make an exit.

Mid-market private equity firm Samara Capital inked back-to-back deals in cosmetics firms Blue Heaven and Nature’s Essence this year. In June, beauty and makeup products brand MyGlamm secured Rs 100 crore in a funding round led by US-headquartered Bessemer Venture Partners and the Mankekar family office.

Also in June, Scentials Beauty Care and Wellness Pvt. Ltd, which mainly offers beauty products endorsed by celebrities, mobilised Rs 25 crore in its Series A round of funding from Unilever Ventures, the venture capital arm of consumer goods giant Unilever Plc.

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