Glossier announced Tuesday that it raised $100 million in a Series D funding round, according to a company press release emailed to Retail Dive. Thanks to the new cash, the five-year-old beauty startup is now a unicorn, with a valuation of $1.2 billion, multiple reports stated. A company spokesperson declined to comment on the valuation.
Sequoia Capital led the funding round, with participation from Tiger Global Management, Spark Capital and existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital, IVP and Index Ventures.
At the same time, the company announced the appointment of Vanessa Wittman as Chief Financial Officer. Wittman has a background at technology companies, acting as CFO at Oath and Dropbox, among others.
Investment rounds can be telling, especially when it pushes a young business into so-called unicorn territory, with valuation topping a billion dollars. According to the company, Glossier's annual revenue more than doubled in 2018, reaching $100 million "as a fully direct-to-consumer business."
The beauty retailer also grabbed one million new customers, per the release, and branched out into a second brand, Glossier Play, earlier this month. Plans for the funding were not disclosed, though founder and CEO Emily Weiss did look ahead to the future of the business.
"We are building an entirely new kind of beauty company: one that owns the distribution channel and makes customers our stakeholders," she said in a statement. "Thanks to this direct relationship with our customers, we have access to endless inspiration for new products, experiences, and ways of building an enduring business—all while staying true to our core belief that beauty should be a celebration of individuality and personal choice."
Partners at Sequoia and Spark Capital both cited Glossier's relationship to its customers as a key factor in the success of the business, and Michael Abramson, a partner at Sequoia, also called out the company's financial position as "equally impressive."
"This is one of the most efficient direct-to-consumer businesses we've encountered, and with this new capital, we believe Glossier is well positioned to define the next era of the beauty industry," he said in a statement.
The beauty space has undergone a series of changes recently. Sephora and Ulta, both successful retailers with strong loyalty programs, continue to up their offerings by partnering with new and exclusive brands and refining their rewards programs. That's put more traditional players, like department and drugstores, under pressure to compete by offering better experiences and services. Younger players like Glossier are also cropping up throughout the space, often searching for an underserved niche to fill.