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07/07/2021

Glossier in new funding round, targets online and physical store growth

Marianne Wilson
Editor-in-Chief
Marianne Wilson profile picture
Glossier storefront

Glossier Inc. is doubling down on its direct-to-consumer model as it prepares to reenter — and expand in — brick-and-mortar retail.

The digitally native beauty brand announced it raised $80 million in Series E funding, bringing the company’s valuation to $1.8 billion, according to Women’s Wear Daily. The latest round was led by Lone Pine Capital,  along with participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital and Thrive Capital. 

Glossier said it will continue to scale its online and offline experiences, taking an e-commerce-first approach to entering new international markets, and expanding its presence through dozens of new stores planned for the United States and globally in the coming years.  

Last month, the company revealed that it would reopen its owned retail channel, opening three new  stores, starting in Seattle in August, followed by Los Angeles and London later this year. (Glossier previously had two stores – in New York and Los Angeles — that it permanently closed at the beginning of the pandemic.)    

This is just the beginning: we have an exciting retail roadmap to bring Glossier to many more places, including our home base of New York City, in 2022,” founder and CEO Emily Weiss wrote on her blog. “Our first three stores are the culmination of everything we’ve learned from our prior offline experiences, and like these experiences, they look at each city through Glossier-colored glasses. Each of these stores is designed to inspire everyone to find joy and confidence in their personal beauty style, with a customer journey centered around self-discovery and belonging. People first, products second.”

Founded in 2014, Glossier has a lineup of 39 basic products— spanning skincare, makeup, body and fragrance— that are priced between $12 and $60. The brand is a favorite of millennials and Gen Z who like it pared-down, minimalist approach.

In a statement, the company said that two in every five women between ages 18 and 34 in the United States have heard of Glossier and that it has more than 5 million customers globally. It also said that its online sales increased during the pandemic, with year-over-year sales increasing across all product categories.

“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," said Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Glossier. "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. This is the future we’ve always been building for.”

Kelly Granat, portfolio manager at Lone Pine Capital, said that Glossier is resonant across generations and geographies, “not only for its products, but for the sense of connection and belonging the brand inspires.

“The community that’s formed around Glossier’s approach to beauty, one that champions individual freedom and choice, has made Glossier’s direct relationship with its customers all the more powerful,” she said. 

Founded in 2014, Glossier is on a mission to inspire everyone to find joy and confidence in their personal beauty style. Glossier’s 39 products—modern essentials spanning skincare, makeup, body and fragrance—are priced between $12 and $60. The company has more than 5 million customers globally and has become a household name across generations, especially with Gen Z and Millennials; two out of every five women between the ages of 18 and 34 in the United States have heard of Glossier.

Despite closing all retail locations early in the pandemic, the company continued to grow in 2020 thanks to its deep investments in online discovery and shopping, with year-over-year sales increasing across all product categories.

“Glossier is resonant across generations and geographies, not only for its products, but for the sense of connection and belonging the brand inspires,” said Kelly Granat, Portfolio Manager at Lone Pine Capital. “The community that’s formed around Glossier’s approach to beauty, one that champions individual freedom and choice, has made Glossier’s direct relationship with its customers all the more powerful. This is already an iconic and era-defining beauty company, and we’re excited to play a role in bringing Glossier experiences and products to people everywhere.”