Purplle Success Story - India's No 1 Beauty Destination

Anik Banerjee Anik Banerjee Sarika Anand Sarika Anand
Jul 23, 2022 14 min read
Purplle Success Story - India's No 1 Beauty Destination

Company Profile is an initiative by StartupTalky to publish verified information on different startups and organizations. The content in this post has been approved by Purplle.

Starting from clothes to medicines, everything is within our reach with just a few clicks now in the digital era that we are living in. The same goes for skincare and haircare products, cosmetics, and fragrances.

The skincare, haircare, cosmetics, beauty products, and the markets for all of them are growing at breakneck speeds. Thus, more and more companies are taking a dive into the beauty industry with their unique offerings. Purplle is one such example of an e-commerce beauty brand that is growing in its unique rapidly rising to compete with the bigger players in the industry.

Founded in 2011 and headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra, Purplle is an Indian multi-brand beauty retailer selling cosmetic and wellness products.

With the help of its online store and an ever-growing list of cosmetics, fragrances, skin, and hair care products, Purplle is fast becoming a favorite. It gives an online space to beauty and wellness needs that showcase beauty brands and products. Purplle aims to take the shopping experience to a different level. The Nykaa competitor is already a unicorn, joining the prestigious club of unicorn companies on June 9, 2022.

Here we bring you the success story of Purplle, where you can learn about the Brand, Founder and History, Mission, Vision, Team, Business Model, Competitors, Challenges, Future Plans, and more.

Purplle - Company Highlights

Startup Name Purplle.com
Headquarters Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Industry Online shopping, Cosmetics
Founded 2011
Founders Manish Taneja and Rahul Dash
CEO Manish Taneja
Area Served India
Valued at $1.1 billion (June 2022)
Revenue $16.97 mn (Rs 128.2 crore in FY21)
Funding Raised $294 mn (June 2022)
Website www.purplle.com

Purplle - About and How it Works?
Purplle - Industry
Purplle - Founders and Team
Purplle - Startup Story
Purplle - Mission and Vision
Purplle - Name, Tagline and Logo
Purplle - Business Model
Purplle - Revenue Model
Purplle - Growth and Revenue
Purplle - Funding and Investors
Purplle - ESOPs
Purplle - Acquisitions
Purplle - Competitors
Purplle - Challenges Faced
Purplle - Future Plans

Purplle - About and How it Works?

Purplle is an operator of an online beauty shopping store created to buy skincare products based on people's hair and skin type and other personal choices.

It is an online portal with a large collection of cosmetics, skincare, haircare & fragrances. It showcases some of the best products from the leading brands in the world at the best prices. Purplle cosmetics aims to take the users' shopping experience to a completely different level by enabling the consumers to have a personalized shopping experience taking skin and hair type into account. They also have a brilliant customer service department that can be accessed via their customer care number.

Purplle.com has a large assortment of products across over 650 brands with 50,000+ SKUs and 300+ beauty-specific sellers. Purplle provides all warehousing and logistics services to sellers to ensure that the quality of products and the delivery of them are well-maintained.

Besides, Purplle also has a tie-up with over 6,000 salons with detailed pricing information on the platform for customers to make a choice for the right service.

There are three major categories around which Purplle has built its website. The first is the Beauty Product Marketplace, where products catering to make-up, skincare, haircare, etc., are listed. The second is the Salon Booking Marketplace, where they list and accept bookings for salons and spas near you. The third is Purplle Salons, which is their chain of Premium Economy Salons, through which they aim to create a great salon experience for customers.

Purplle - Industry

India has seen quite a growth in the personal care and cosmetics space. This can be pointed out due to the improved quality of life in India to the point that the estimated growth of the sector was 9.7% between 2018-2023, before the pandemic. However, this growth has certainly been slowed since the coronavirus pandemic outbreak.

It was noticed that growth happened at a rate of 2.3% between 2019-2020, which helped the industry achieve a market value of a little over $15 billion in December 2020. The forecast for growth was 2020-2021 is 1.7%. However, it is deemed to improve from 2022 onwards, when the revenues are expected to increase by +2.8%.

Purplle - Founders and Team

Purplle is founded by Manish Taneja (Co-founder and CEO), Rahul Dash (Co-founder and COO), and Suyash Katyayani (Co-founder and CTO), in 2012.

Founders of Purplle
Co-Founders of Purplle - Manish Taneja and Rahul Dash (Left to right)

Manish Taneja

Manish is an IIT Delhi alumni, who completed his Bachelor's and Masters in Electrical Engineering from Delhi IIT. Taneja then went to the CFA Institute, where he completed Level 3, Finance. The Co-founder and CEO of Purplle started as an Intern at Ittiam Systems. He then worked as an Analyst at Lehman Brothers; an Analyst and Associate at Avendus Capital, and eventually as an Analyst - Private Equity at Fidelity Growth Partners India. Manish Taneja finally decided to found his own beauty firm, Purplle. Manish Taneja was a second-time entrepreneur when he started Purplle.

Rahul Dash

Rahul Dash is the Co-founder and COO of Purplle, who previously worked as a Senior Manager - Strategy and Business Development at the Tata Power Company. Furthermore, he was also appointed as a TAS Manager at Tata Chemicals Ltd after serving as a TAS Manager at Tata Advanced Systems Ltd. and Tata Motors. Rahul was a Mechanical Engineering student at IIT KGP, who completed his Bachelor's degree from Kharagpur IIT. Dash then went on to obtain a PGDM in General Management from IIM Ahmedabad.

Suyash Katyayani

Suyash Katyayani - Purplle Co-founder

Suyash Katyayani is known as the Co-founder cum CTO of the brand. Katyayani had been a student of DPS Bhilai and is also an alumnus of Kharagpur IIT, from where he completed his BTech. in Chemical Engineering. Suyash had earlier co-founded VidyaCenter, which makes Purplle his second attempt at entrepreneurship. Katyayani started his career as a Software Engineer at OnMobile.  

Pooja Acharya holds another key designation of Purplle, who works as the Chief Beauty Officer of the company.

The Purplle team is currently 800+ strong.

Purplle - Startup Story

The foundation of the Purplle cosmetics brand can be described as a pure business call to enter the beauty segment. The beauty, personal care, and cosmetics sector isn't something that leaves much room for customization in contrast to the furniture and home decor space. On the other hand, when it comes to getting electronics, footwear, furniture, and apparel online, most of the customers already have a certain comfort level with the horizontal marketplaces and mostly tend to land on eCommerce platforms like Amazon and Flipkart.

The founding trio was all set to establish a business but debated a while between furniture and fashion. However, while furniture needed a comparatively higher initial investment, fashion was a segment, which had players like Myntra and Jabong who had a great, early start, and were emerging to be quite competent. This was how Purplle started.

Purplle was initially started with Rs 40 lakhs of savings, which resulted in Rs 45, 000 of sales in the first month from the friends and families. However, this helped them gain momentum, which resulted in 30% Month-on-Month growth after the first month. Purplle tried to figure out ways to scale the business and increase its sales till 2015. The year 2016 was even more crucial to them, which they dodged anyway, but this made them realise they had to do something new as 5 years have already passed. When they felt the need for change, the founders had only 50 lakhs in their bank accounts, in 2017.

Though the new move, which needed to plan the business plan anew and big decisions needed to be taken, involved numerous risks too, the founding team was confident then. Their biggest strength came from their data stack. This data that they have accumulated all this while, spanned across numerous categories and helped them understand the consumer behaviour, which turned into their USP.

Purplle now decided to be omnipresent, and this led to Purplle opening their first physical retail store at Phoenix Market City Kurla, Mumbai in January 2017. Purplle clicked here because while other offline beauty brands with physical stores cannot store many products and they tend to stock them randomly, Purplle stocked products after analysing the consumer behaviours, thereby customising their stocks according to them. Besides, Purplle used an efficient and quick technology, and also used to ask numerous questions to the buyers about their skin tone and problems.

Purplle then started to make good profits again, and their gross margins was also good. The company then added salon booking services to their offerings, but their products remained central to the business. According to the latest FY21 updates, Purplle is seeing 80% Y-o-Y growth.

The company retails products for skincare, make-up, haircare, body care, and beauty appliances from across more than 600 Indian and international brands. It showcases some of the best products from the leading brands in the world. Purplle aims to raise the bars of the users' shopping experience.

Purplle - Mission and Vision

Purplle's mission statement says, "Purplle gives an online space to your beauty and wellness needs. We showcase some of the best products from the leading brands in the world. It aims to take your shopping experience to a completely different level. We know shopping infuses an incomparable high."

The vision of the company is to grow as one of the most popular brands in the cosmetics and beauty industry as an online retailer.

Purplle - Name, Tagline, and Logo

Purplle's company logo
Purplle's company logo

The Purplle logo is in purple, signifying the name and the taste of modern women. The company offers cosmetics, fragrances, skin, and hair care products at the best available prices, and thereby, is loved by women and girls all around.

Purplle has selected its tagline to be India's#1 Beauty Destination .

Purplle - Business Model

The Purplle brand of cosmetics started its journey as a D2C beauty products retailer brandishing its eCommerce website and app in 2011. The company, much like other market leaders including Flipkart, Amazon, Nykaa, etc., has also forayed into the private label space. Purplle entered the private label space by subsuming the in-house brand StayQuirky, which was launched in 2015.

Purplle - Revenue Model

Purplle is a beauty and cosmetics D2C eCommerce brand that derives its revenues mainly from product commissions and marketplace fees. Furthermore, a major chunk of its revenues also come from the advertisements on its app as well as on the website.

Purplle - Growth and Revenue

The last two years have been really good for Purplle except for the days of the pandemic, where things really looked haywire but that was for a few months. Purplle is currently growing at around 80% y-o-y, as updated in October 2021.

"We are right now at Rs 100 crore of monthly gross merchandise value (GMV) and this is an all-time high", remarked Taneja.

The company further revealed that it has scaled its annualized gross merchandising volume to $180 mn in FY22.

Some more growth highlights of the company are:

  • The net sales of Purplle clock around Rs 65 crore a month.
  • Purplle has 7 million monthly active users who sell 60,000+ products from more than 1,000 brands on its website and app.
  • The company has witnessed around 90% growth year-on-year.

The Purplle operating revenue grew from Rs 91.4 cr in FY20 to Rs 128.2 cr during FY21. Though the company revenue grew by 40.2%, Purplle has failed to improve its EBITDA margins during FY21, which worsened from -19.80% to become -31.37%. The annual losses of the company also increased by 114% from Rs 24.4 cr to be Rs 52.2 cr in FY21.

Purplle Financials Breakdown

Purplle Financials FY21 FY20
Operating Revenue INR 128.15 cr INR 91.4 cr
Total Expenses INR 191.1 cr INR 123.1 cr
Profit/Loss Loss of INR 52.19 cr Loss of INR 24.39 cr
EBITDA Margin -31.37% -19.80%

Purplle Revenue Breakdown

Purplle Revenue Verticals FY21 FY20
Sale of Products INR 8.20 cr INR 13.32 cr
Advertising and Visibility Services INR 79.02 cr INR 52.06 cr
Royalty Income INR 39.04 cr INR 24.25 cr
Membership INR 1.28 cr INR 0.51 cr
Miscellaneous Operating Income INR 0.06 cr INR 1.25 cr

Purplle Expenses Breakdown

Purplle Expense Verticals FY21 FY20
Advertisement and Promotion Cost INR 56.31 cr INR 36.51 cr
Rent and Utility Cost INR 3.42 cr INR 0.98 cr
Legal and Professional Charges INR 13.40 cr INR 10.35 cr
Others INR 24.22 cr INR 17.30 cr
Employee Benefit Expenses INR 36.9 cr INR 19 cr
Logistics and Packaging Costs INR 52.4 cr INR 31.2 cr
Purchase of stock in trade INR 4.46 cr INR 7.74 cr
Purplle Financials FY19-FY21

Purplle vs Nykaa revenue

We all know about the 2 of the most formidable competitors today in the online cosmetics industry are Purplle and Nykaa. Though many other brands are also there, thriving and growing in the same segment, Nykaa and Purplle seem to be among the most talked-about brands, probably because the leading cosmetics startups were launched one after another in successive years. Therefore, Purplle vs Nykaa revenue is an obvious question that pops up in our minds today as soon as we learn about the growth of both Purplle and its competitor.

Now, while Purplle is a convincing startup that has turned unicorn in June 2022, Nykaa had already turned unicorn in 2021 and had gone public with a bumper stock market debut in the same year. The Falguni Nayyar-led company now has a market cap of $8.8 bn, as of June 9, 2022. Besides, the revenue of Nykaa is also really high when compared to Purplle. Here's learning Purplle vs Nykaa revenue FY19-FY21 through the graphs:

Purplle vs Nykaa Revenue FY19-FY21

Purplle - Funding and Investors

Purplle has raised a total of a little more than $294M in funding. Purplle saw an extended Series D funding round worth $33 mn on June 9, 2022, which was led by Paramark Ventures of South Korea and was joined by the startup's existing investors including Blume Ventures, Kedaara Capital, and PremjiInvest. This new funding round helped the startup's valuation cross $1.1 bn, thereby turning it into an Indian unicorn company. The company saw more than 13 funding rounds to date.

The last funding round (Series D), helped the company raise more than $34 mn in January 2022, which was led by an affiliate of Sequoia Capital, Faces Investment Holdings.

An installment of the Series D for Purplle came on October 29, 2021, when the company successfully raised $75 million led by Kedaara Capital. This was the second funding round that the women-focused beauty startup has witnessed in 2021. It was during this round that the company was all set to raise $49 mn more from the family office of Azim Premji, Wipro Founder Chairman. Purplle has announced that it would be allotting around 8,263 Series D compulsory convertible preference shares to PI Opportunities Fund I scheme of Premji Invest for Rs 328 crore for 8.43% stake in the company. It finally did raise funds worth $60 mn from PremjiInvest, which came in on November 18, 2021.

Purplle was last valued at $728 mn when it raised a part of its Series D round in January 2022, whereas after receiving $75 mn in its October 2021 funding round, the valuation of Purplle was only $500 mn. Now that the valuation of Purplle is $1.1 mn on June 9, 2022, it can be concluded that the Purplle valuation has jumped over 50% in this round.

Goldman Sachs has acquired Rs 60 crore worth of stakes of Purplle in a secondary buyout on July 4, 2020. This also includes the shares of the Former Fidelity executives Abhinav Sinha and Anirudh Gopalkrishnan, who have exited the company in 2020 with a 40x return.

Purplle is currently funded by around 15 investors, where Spring Marketing Capital and Verlinvest are the most recent investors.

Date Round Money Lead Investors
June 9, 2022 Series D $33M Paramark Ventures, Blume Ventures, PremjiInvest, Kedaara and more
January 17, 2022 Series D $34M Faces Investment Holdings
November 18, 2021 Series D $60M PremjiInvest
October 29, 2021 Series D $75M Kedaara Capital
Mar 22, 2021 Series D $45M Sequoia Capital India, Verlinvest
Nov 23, 2020 Venture Round $1M Spring Marketing Capital
Jan 13, 2020 Series C $8M Verlinvest
Dec 12, 2019 Series C $30M Goldman Sachs
Jun 20, 2018 Venture Round $2.33M -
Dec 15, 2017 Series C $459K Mountain Pine Capital, Suncoast Investments
Jul 11, 2016 Series B $6M JSW Ventures
Jan 5, 2015 Venture Round - IvyCap Ventures
May 2, 2014 Angel Round $541.2K -
Aug 26, 2013 Series A - -

Purplle - ESOPs

Purplle expanded its ESOP pool size, making it worth $40 mn, as of May 13, 2022. The Purplle board has passed the resolution for the expanse of its existing ESOP pool to include 6,806 ESOP options, where each option will be converted into equity shares, as per the regulatory filings of the company with the Registrar of Companies. With this expansion of the Purplle ESOP pool, the company joins the list of other Indian companies including Pine Labs, Ather Energy, Ecom Express, Ninjacart, LEAP, and more.  

Purplle - Acquisitions

Purplle acquired FACES CANADA on December 18, 2021. This is the first major acquisition of the Mumbai-based beauty products marketplace. After the acquisition, the latter is to operate independently and expand its portfolio.

Company Acquired Date Deal Value
FACES CANADA December 16, 2021 -

Purplle - Competitors

The top competitors of Purplle today are:

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Purplle - Challenges Faced

Speaking on the days when Purplle was started, Manish recalled that in 2011 there were only a few brands that targeted the online space for the cosmetics and beauty products in the country. Beauty stores were quite less than it is now, and B2B transactions were done only by the salons. The co-founders claimed that they started their company, Purplle with about Rs 40 lakhs from their personal savings.

Purplle has seen its fair share of successes and failures since its inception. Manish Taneja and his co-founder, Rahul Dash, along with CTO Suyash Katyanani, however, believed in only one philosophy which is:

“Customers have to be the centre point of the conversation and sale. And the aim of a beauty ecommerce portal should be to provide solutions for their needs. A hard sell based on discounts is a big no."

Purplle - Future Plans

Purplle hopes that social media will influence India’s middle-class to get more into beauty products, along with the increase of the purchasing power of millennials. The company further says that with AI in the market, it won’t be long before e-commerce platforms became significant sources of people’s cosmetic products.

"We want to focus on Purplle Salon for bringing the best salon experience to our customers. Our next step would be to bring international brands to India and introduce our own brands in the market." said the CEO and co-founder of Purplle, Manish Taneja.


Is Purplle an Indian company?

Yes, Purplle is an Indian company.

What is Purplle?

Purplle is an online store that sells cosmetics, fragrances, skin, and haircare products.

Who is the CEO of Purplle?

Manish Taneja is the current CEO of Purplle.

Are products on Purplle genuine?

Purplle claims that it has products, which are 100% genuine.

Who founded Purplle cosmetics?

Purplle is founded by Manish Taneja and Rahul Dash.

Is Purplle a unicorn Indian company?

Yes, Purplle has turned into a unicorn Indian company by raising $33 mn via its extended Series D round that came in on June 9, 2022.  

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