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Purplle: A startup that is growing rapidly in the cosmetics industry in India [2020 Updated]

Purplle is one of the leading beauty & cosmetics firm that contributes to nearly 20% market share in premium online beauty sp
Purplle is one of the leading beauty & cosmetics firm that contributes to nearly 20% market share in premium online beauty space.

Multiple ecommerce platforms in India offer products and services to the public. However, the ecommerce hubs like Amazon (1) and Flipkart (2) focussed on providing multiple products to its customers via its platform fail to deliver customizable solutions in a particular category.

Purplle, an online cosmetics ecommerce platform, is focussed on providing every possible customization solution in the cosmetics and beauty industry. The cosmetic ecommerce startup, Purplle, started as a virgin vertical in ecommerce when it began in 2011. One year after the launch of Purplle, Nykaa (3) forayed into the cosmetics industry as well, becoming the staunch rival of the firm.

Purplle: An Idea that Transformed the Online Beauty Market

Manish Taneja (4), Rahul Dash (5), and Suyash Katyayani (6), IIT alumni, started with an idea to start as a vertical ecommerce platform but debated on the category to be in focus. Discussions around fashion and furniture were made until settling out on beauty finally.

Foraying into the beauty segment served as the greatest repeat category where independent women have a choice of buying whatever they want in the global economy. From a business perspective, beauty products hold the best margins, which can go up to 90% for luxury brands and 75-80% for budget products.

Note: The cosmetics & beauty aggregator platform Purplle recently raised $8 million as a part of its Series C round. It plans on expanding to Tier 2 & Tier 3 cities with the funding. (7)

Purplle on its USP to Tackle Cut-Throat Competition

Purplle competes directly and indirectly with some of the top startups and vertical ecommerce firms like Nykaa, Sugar Cosmetics (8), and Plum (9). Competing in this cut-throat market of online beauty & cosmetics aggregators, Purplle maintains its place in the market via its USP given by consumer behavior.

Manish Taneja, the founder of Purplle, noticed that Indians were usually very reluctant to have straightforward one-on-one conversations with strangers, including beauty store experts. Due to lack of knowledge, most women in India are unaware of the right shade of foundation for their skin and often end up buying something 2 to 3 shades lighter to their faces.

Purplle provides personalized beauty solutions to its customers through which they end up landing the right kind of product best suited for their skin type instead of just relying on the usual high-selling products.

Purplle does that by giving them an option to:

  • Select their skin type for face products
  • Choose their skin shade for foundations
  • Choose their skin type for perfect lip shades
  • Filter out their makeup preferences- organic, chemical-free, etc.

Note: Purplle also holds Buying Guides that assists people in finding the right product range best suited for their skin through their in-depth, researched articles.

Purple has been growing at an annual growth rate of 250%, with an estimated $12 million yearly revenue till 2019. (10) Currently, Purplle claims around 20% of the market share in the premium online beauty space.

Purplle in News

The 2012-launched platform, Purplle, recently accumulated a $30 million funding from Goldman Sachs plus other investors. The Series C funding round, which took place in December 2019, was led by the US-based investment giant Goldman Sachs, along with existing investors, including IvyCap Ventures, Blume Ventures, and JSW Ventures.

Purplle is already considered as a popular brand amongst regular cosmetic buyers in India, and with this funding, Purplle plans to expand its brand’s presence for building a unique supply of brands products and brands on its platform via a partnership with global brand houses. Purplle also intends to enhance its data stack through the fundings in digital women-focused content.

According to reports published by ET (11):

  • Currently, there’s a $7 billion domestic online beauty and personal care market
  • The industry’s growing at a 15% + CAGR
  • Increased market penetration in the second and third-tier cities and

Overall, Purplle stands as a staunch competitor in the beauty and cosmetics online marketplace with rising numbers of registered users every minute. One of the biggest reasons that have contributed to their success is their key focus on providing the right kind of products from the right brand to the right person.