Glossier announced on Tuesday that it has raised $100 million – the most money it has raised to date – in a Series D funding round led by Menlo Park-based venture capital firm Sequoia Capital. Thanks to this new splash of cash, which brings Glossier’s total funding to just more than $186 million, the millennial-centric beauty company is being valued at $1.2 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Born out of IntoTheGloss – the heavily-trafficked beauty blog that Emily Weiss launched in 2010 – Glossier, a direct-to-consumer brand of beauty and skincare products, came to be in October 2014. The now 33-year old Weiss managed to parlay her website’s enormous following into bona fide shoppers of her brand and its array of products, from the “Balm Dotcom” lip balms and “Boy Brow” eyebrow-shaping products to “Glossier You” fragrance and its very-recently-launched color cosmetics collection, called Play.
But do not be distracted by the brand’s products. As social strategist Ana Andjelic puts it, the lion’s share of Glossier’s strength does not necessarily lie there. It also will not be found “in the brand’s technology [or] the rate of user growth,” even if its revenues more-than-doubled in 2018, exceeding the $100 million mark, thanks to a whopping 1 million new customers for the year.
No, Andjelic says, “The value is in the social activity that exists in the network of its users.” More than that, the company has thrived largely based on the fact that “women wanted to enjoy the benefits of sharing their [inherently Instagrammable] choices, preferences and looks.” The result is an engaged community of fans and consumers, or as Michael Abramson, Partner at Sequoiaput it, a brand with “an exceptionalrelationship with its customers.”
“We are building an entirely new kind of beauty company: one that owns the distribution channel and makes customers our stakeholders,” Weiss said in a statement on Tuesday. “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.”