Glossier, a New York-based startup that sells a simple, highly curated line of beauty products, is taking $8.4 million in venture funding to pursue a tried-and-true strategy that many other e-commerce brands like Warby Parker have followed.
What is it?
Basically you take a staid product line, preferably a utility or necessity like eyewear or men’s razors, and then you verticalize production and go purely or primarily online for marketing and distribution under a shiny new brand. That’s in essence what both Warby Parker and Harry’s have done.
Now Thrive Capital, the firm that’s backed both of these companies, is leading the round in Glossier.
The company, led by Emily Weiss (above), already has a built-in audience. A former styling assistant for Vogue, Weiss broke off and did her own beauty media company called Into The Gloss that reaches 1 million uniques per month.
“After listening to women about their beauty shopping habits for years, we realized that while there are a lot of products in the world, they’re very disaggregated,” Weiss said. “We wanted to really address this issue head-on by creating a one-stop solution in a standalone brand.”
Glossier has what it calls a “Phase One” kit with a soothing face mist, moisturizer, balm and perfecting skin tint cream. They are individually priced anywhere from $12 to $26 and the entire set costs $80.
“We want to provide hardworking products that are of luxury quality at a very accessible price point,” Weiss said. “These are essential core products that are universally flattering that anyone can implement as part their most basic routines.”
While the company alluded that it will branch out into cosmetics like lipsticks later, they deliberately wanted to keep things simple for now. And even when they do get into things like lipsticks and eyeliners, they’ll focus on producing high-quality basics instead of an expansive range of colors and shades.
“We don’t want to create more stress for customers by offering endless choices,” Weiss said. “We want to do a lot of that curating as part of our product development.”
Also participating in the round are 14W, TOMS Capital, Manzanita Capital, WME, David Tisch, Jay Brown, and Bonobos CEO Andy Dunn, as well as existing investors Forerunner Ventures and Lerer Hippeau Ventures. The startup has 19 people and declined to share sales figures to date.