Purplle Secures $120 Million Funding, Announces Employee Stock Benefit

Preeti Bali / 9:43 am / July 2, 2024

Purplle, a leading online marketplace for beauty and grooming products, has secured Rs 1,000 crore (approximately $120 million) in a funding round. The investment was spearheaded by a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), with participation from other undisclosed investors.

Funding Structure and Valuation Speculation

The funding round included a combination of primary (new shares issued by the company) and secondary share issuance (existing shareholders selling their stake). While the official valuation of Purplle remains undisclosed, media sources estimate it to be around $1.2- $1.3 billion.

Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP) Initiative

In conjunction with the funding announcement, Purplle unveiled its biggest-ever employee stock ownership plan (ESOP) liquidity program, valued at Rs 50 crore ($6 million). The company has granted stock options to over 320 employees thus far, with 85 of them successfully liquidating their holdings worth Rs 75 crore ($9 million) through three previous buyback programs. This initiative highlights Purplle’s commitment to rewarding employee contributions to its growth.

Growth Trajectory and Market Expansion

Purplle’s previous funding round of $33 million in June 2022, led by South Korea’s Paramark Ventures, propelled the company to unicorn status with a valuation of $1.1 billion. While primarily functioning as a marketplace for various beauty brands, Purplle also offers its own private label products under the “Good Vibes” brand. The company has strategically extended its reach beyond major cities to cater to the beauty needs of customers in tier II, tier III, and micro-markets.

Financial Performance and Future Outlook

Purplle claims operational profitability and reports a fourfold increase in Gross Merchandise Value (GMV) over the past three years. The company projects continued online growth exceeding industry averages, alongside strategic expansion of offline stores and improved profitability. Data platform TheKredible reveals Purplle’s operating revenue for the fiscal year ending March 2023 to be Rs 475 crore, with a loss of Rs 230 crore. This marks a significant improvement compared to the previous fiscal year, where revenue and losses were Rs 219 crore and Rs 203 crore, respectively.

Secondary Share Transaction

This funding round signifies Purplle’s second secondary share transaction within a year. In October 2023, JSW Ventures exited the company through a sale to Manipal Education & Medical Group Family Office (MEMG).

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