Direct-to-consumer (DTC) beauty brand, Glossier, has raised $80 million in its latest Series E funding round at a valuation of $1.8 billion. Glossier plans to use the funds to reestablish its physical footprint.
The round was led by Lone Pine Capital, which has also invested in Sweetgreen and Farfetch. Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital and Thrive Capital, each of which are existing investors, also participated in the round. The company also secured a debt facility from JPMorgan.
Having secured the fresh capital, the beauty brand plans to take a “city-by-city” approach to build its retail network — something it has also done when hosting events and pop-ups in various cities. For example, when the DTC brand hosted a pop-up event in Boston, it took on a “campuses” approach to appeal to the big student population in the area.
The company plans to open its first retail store in August this year, starting with Seattle, where its store will feature a massive mushroom-themed square foot door. Seattle will be the first of several stores the brand is planning to open across the country as well as globally over the next few years.
While Glossier has witnessed online growth across all of its categories (skincare, makeup, fragrance and body), it has not been the most straightforward path to success as the brand has had to recalibrate its product and broader retail strategy, Business of Fashion reported.
Less than a year after Glossier launched Play, a bolder color cosmetics line featuring glitter gel and highly pigmented lip lacquers, the company stopped selling the collection as it decided to update its core offerings and hone in on offering affordable skincare and “no-makeup makeup.”
The brand is now looking to start over on the retail front. In August 2020, Glossier announced that it would be laying off all of its retail employees and shuttering all of its store locations in London, Los Angeles and New York for the rest of the year.
According to analysts, while the $1.8 billion valuation sounds significant, it is not a tremendous jump from its previous Series D valuation of $1.2 billion. Moreover, $80 million may not be enough capital to launch stores in several large cities.