Shortly after announcing its return to brick-and-mortar retail, Glossier on Wednesday said it raised $80 million in a Series E funding round led by Lone Pine Capital.
Existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital and Thrive Capital also participated in the round, according to a company press release.
Glossier's plans include scaling its online and offline presence, with "dozens of new stores" in the works for the U.S. and international markets in years to come. The DTC beauty brand will take an "e-commerce-first approach" as it expands to new markets.
In many ways, the e-commerce-centric world of the pandemic justified the approach of DTC brands, which tend to sell predominantly online and supplement their e-commerce approach with a relatively small fleet of brick-and-mortar stores. Many DTC brands reported huge spikes in sales as consumers' attention shifted online, and Glossier is counting itself among those winners.
The company has over 5 million customers globally, with two out of five Gen Z and millennial-aged women in the U.S. knowing about the brand. In 2019, over 1 million people visited Glossier's physical stores, according to the company, but it still managed to grow when brick-and-mortar retail fell by the wayside last year.
"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," the company said.
Glossier in June announced its return to physical retail after closing its brick-and-mortar stores for most of 2020. The company has plans for three new permanent stores in Seattle, Los Angeles and London, with a "roadmap" of more openings set for 2022, including in New York. The last time Glossier raised money, in March 2019, it hit unicorn status, alongside other DTC favorites like Away and Casper.
That Series D funding round was even bigger than its current fundraising, at $100 million. And Glossier isn't the only one in the space winning over investors. Fellow DTC brand Allbirds raised $100 million this past September and a month later expanded into apparel.
"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," Emily Weiss, founder and CEO of Glossier, said in a statement. "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."
As DTC brands expand, more of them are looking to raise larger rounds of capital, enter international markets, build out leadership teams with retail veterans and look for exit strategies through IPOs, SPACs and acquisitions. Warby Parker recently filed to go public and Allbirds is reportedly on the same path.