CEW Indie Beauty Award winner Julep Beauty Inc. has secured an additional $5 million in an extension of the Series B round of financing in February in which it raised $10.3 million.
This story first appeared in the June 26, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The additional funding comes from existing investors, such as Maveron and Andreessen Horowitz.
According to Jane Park, chief executive officer and cofounder of Julep, “Things are going so well that all the investors wanted us to expand our horizons and move faster [on some initiatives]. Taking on an additional $5 million enables us to be even more aggressive and push forward our innovation faster.”
Jason Stoffer, partner at Maveron, explained, “We’re all very excited about the progress of the business. The company has a number of compelling opportunities and we thought they can move more aggressively going ahead without any interruption with fund-raising…. Fund-raising is a distraction. I think [we] saw an opportunity to help the company grow and not have the ceo distracted with additional fund-raising.”
Stoffer spoke of fast-fashion firms such as Zara, Forever 21 and H&M, and likened Julep as the equivalent in the beauty space: “Beauty companies are beholden to the retail distribution of their products and they need to keep introducing new ones at a certain rate. When you’re doing business online, you’re not as beholden to the traditional retail [set-up]. Julep can do [product introductions] at a faster clip.” He also said that in the last generation of new beauty firms, Bare Escentuals and ProActiv reached out to consumers directly via the television channels. Julep represents the next generation at the forefront, utilizing social networking and video channels, such as YouTube, to garner consumer interest.
Park said one product introduction that got investors’ attention was the sell-through results of its new DD Cream, or dynamic duo cream, which combines first-generation beauty balm with foundation and sun protection and second-generation formulation with complexion correction and brightening agents. The cream was launched two months ago in four shades, and two skin-tone colors have already sold out. The plans for the additional funding include building out a cosmetics line, working on a digital strategy and a reformulation of its nail polish line.