Julep Beauty raises $30M in funding

SEATTLE — Startup beauty brand Julep Beauty has raised $30 million in additional funding from investors, bringing its total venture funding to $56 million.

"Julep combines tech savvy, a next-generation distribution model and beauty industry know-how in one fast-growing package," stated Mike Kwatinetz, general partner of Azure Capital Partners. "It's the only beauty brand to truly leverage crowdsourcing and social feedback to create new makeup and skincare products."

New investors Azure Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Altimeter Capital, as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Maveron, participated in the round. The new investment brings Julep's total venture funding to $56 million.

The new funding comes at a time of tremendous growth for the company, which saw revenues from e-commerce sales triple in 2013. Julep will use the new funds to continue its pace of e-commerce innovation. Leveraging crowd-sourced product development, Julep quickly brings products to market — 10 times faster than traditional beauty brands, according to the company.

Julep invites customer feedback via online focus groups, brainstorming sessions, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, and then integrates this feedback into the development process to launch more than 300 nail polishes, skin care products, color cosmetics, and beauty tools per year.

“Julep has truly figured out how to deeply engage women where they already are — social, mobile and web — and leverage those channels to bring customers into the product innovation process,” stated Julie Sandler, principal at Madrona Venture Group. "You simply don’t see this anywhere else in the beauty category, and Julep’s customers are certainly responding. We are excited to support Jane and her bold vision to build the world’s most vibrant, powerful beauty brand.”

In May, Julep will release the Plié Wand, a first-of-its-kind nail polishing tool created and funded by Julep customers that promises to revolutionize the at-home manicure experience.

“As an early investor, we’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible vision CEO Jane Park has brought to this one-of-a-kind e-commerce company, and we’re thrilled to re-invest in Julep’s future,” added Jason Stoffer, partner at Maveron. “Julep is one of the only consumer companies that really understands the omnichannel model, driving incredible sales growth via a mixed e-commerce, subscription, and retail model.”

"The retail industry is in the midst of huge creative disruption, and e-commerce companies that leverage software and big data to transform the shopping experience are the ones that will survive and thrive," stated Jeff Jordan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz. "The global brands of tomorrow will be built online, and we're thrilled to back a trailblazing company that's bringing innovation to the enormous beauty market."


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