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Glossier Has Now Raised More Than $265 Million in VC Capital

With the latest $80 million round, the business will bring back retail, which had closed down during the coronavirus pandemic.

Glossier, the Millennial pink, digitally native beauty brand, has raised a series E that brings the company’s total venture capital backing to more than $265 million. 

The series E round was led by Lone Pine Capital, with participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital and Thrive Capital. The company said it would use the money to “scale its online and offline experiences, taking an e-commerce-first approach to entering new international markets, and deepening its presence through dozens of new stores planned for the United States and globally in the coming years.” 

New permanent stores are planned for Seattle, Los Angeles and London later this year, the company said.

With its previous $100 million series D, Glossier became one of beauty’s unicorns, valued at more than $1 billion. With the series E raise, a source with knowledge of company financials confirmed that Glossier’s valuation stands at $1.8 billion. 

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Glossier is one of a handful of beauty companies that has followed the traditional VC funding route. Historically, most beauty companies scaled organically before taking on later-stage private equity money. But those traditions have changed as venture capital has flooded the consumer packaged goods space in recent years.

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The Honest Co., which went public earlier this year, raised more than $500 million before its IPO. Madison Reed, the hair color business, has also raised a significant amount of money — about $185 million, following the close of a $52 million round recently. Ipsy has raised more than $236 million, and Virtue Labs has raised more than $70 million. 

At one point, Glossier’s founder, Emily Weiss, had considered taking Glossier public, saying in 2018 that her goal was to build “a massive, stand-alone business,” and that “If an IPO is the best way for us to get there, then we’ll do that.” 

According to U.S. search data from Spate, searches for Glossier have declined by 54.4 percent year-over-year as of May, with an average of 946,600 monthly searches. Searches for Glossier’s top products, including Boy Brow and Brow Flick, also declined, Spate data showed. The company’s body care category, however, is gaining attention, and Glossier Body Hero is garnering 31.3 percent more searches year-over-year.

In the U.K., searches for Glossier are down 18.7 percent year-over-year, to 305,000 average monthly searches, but top products are still getting attention from consumers. Searches for Brow Flick and Cloud Paint are both up in the U.K. market, Spate data showed. 

Glossier’s earned media value via social media declined 45 percent between May 2020 and May 2021, according to data from Tribe Dynamics. Tribe noted that Glossier’s dip in EMV is in line with broader industry trends, as influencers more selectively post about brands on social media. 

Glossier, now about seven years old, was the first splashy, modern direct-to-consumer beauty business. The brand became known for its Instagram-friendly minimal aesthetic and cool-girl models who didn’t appear to be wearing any makeup at all. 

Glossier said in a statement that two in every five women between ages 18 and 34 in the U.S. have heard of Glossier, and that the company was able to increase online sales across categories during the pandemic. 

“When Glossier launched as a digitally native beauty company, we were an anomaly in our industry, which has been slow to innovate beyond brick and mortar,” Weiss said in a statement. “Now, nearly seven years into Glossier’s journey, our strategy and the expectations of beauty consumers everywhere are aligned: beauty discovery increasingly begins online as people look for inspiration from friends and strangers alike, and customers want to move fluidly between immersive and personalized e-commerce and retail experiences.” 

Glossier’s new investor, Kelly Granat at Lone Pine, said that Glossier is an “iconic and era-defining beauty company,” and that the firm wanted to play a role in bringing the brand’s products and experiences to “people everywhere.” 

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