Pure-play beauty retailer Glossier on Thursday announced a $52 million Series C funding round — bringing its total funding to $86 million — led by existing investors IVP and Index Ventures.
The investments will go to further establishing the brand worldwide through "new digital products," according to Founder & CEO Emily Weiss. Glossier sells directly through its website, shipping to customers in the U.S., Canada and the United Kingdom, as well as at its New York showroom.
Last year the four-year-old, New York-based direct-to-consumer company added two product categories and opened offices in London and Montreal after acquiring Canadian tech agency Dynamo.
Last year Glossier said it has plans to continue its international expansion, with France coming online this year. However, Weiss also said then that, as a cruelty-free brand, it "won't be able to ship anywhere that requires product testing on animals. That's just part of our philosophy."
The brand joined Stitch Fix, Moda Operandi and Casper last November on the startup edition of LinkedIn's list of most disruptive companies.
Glossier is no doubt benefiting from the current strength in beauty sales, but the brand also boasts its own assets. In particular, the company develops its own products and specializes in a few categories. It launched with skin care products, added makeup and is now branching into peripheral items like sunscreen. The range remains minimalist, with a basic set of colors and products that each work for diverse skin tones, rather than a large assortment.
The company is different in other ways, too. Vogue magazine continues to email the "Into the Gloss" blog, which features interviews with beauty insiders of all types (including makeup artists, models and others) who often drop names of beauty products, and the blog provides the links, including to those that aren't Glossier's.
It's a free-wheeling approach to content that assumes Glossier products fit into a wider beauty routine, with room for many makers. That approach has found a loyal following. So far, except for the showroom at its headquarters, the brand is online only, though Nasty Gal, before its sale to U.K. apparel company Boohoo, sponsored a few Glossier pop-ups in years past.
All that has helped Glossier present a compelling online pitch not always found in pure-play retail. "E-commerce has made buying easier and more efficient, but discovery less fun and meaningful," Weiss said in a statement. "Our direct-to-consumer model has enabled us to build uniquely powerful relationships with every single one of our customers on a personal level."