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Glossier: FUTURE50 2024

Published May 12, 2024
Published May 12, 2024
Glossier

Launched: 2014

Founder: Emily Weiss

Key Executives: 

  • Kyle Leahy, CEO
  • Seun Sodipo, CFO
  • Chitra Balireddi, CCO (Commerical)
  • Marie Suter, CCO (Creative)
  • Kleona Mack, CMO
  • Sarah Stuart, CPO

Offline points of distribution globally projected for 2024? 700

Primary Category: Color Cosmetics 

Other Categories: 

  • Facial Skincare
  • Fragrance

Key Markets: 

  • United States
  • Canada
  • United Kingdom

Retail Partnerships:

  • Owned Glossier stores
  • Sephora
  • SpaceNK

Primary Distribution Channel: DTC 

Other Distribution Channels: Prestige

Funding Rounds: Venture Capital

Total Funds Raised: $266 million

July 2021, Glossier raised an $80 million Series E at a reported valuation of $1.8 billion.The round was led by Lone Pine Capital, with participation from existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Index Ventures, IVP, Sequoia Capital, and Thrive Capital

In March 2019 Glossier raised $100 million in Series D funding at a $1.2 billion valuation, led by Sequoia Capital with participation from Tiger Global Management, Spark Capital, and existing investors Forerunner Ventures, Thrive Capital, IVP, and Index Ventures.

In February 2018, Glossier landed $52 million in Series C funding in what was described as a heavily oversubscribed round. Institutional Venture Partners (IVP) and Index Ventures co-led the Series C round, with participation from existing investors Thrive Capital, Forerunner Ventures, and 14W.

Notable Investors / Funding Partners:

  • Forerunner Ventures
  • IVP
  • Index Ventures
  • Thrive Capital
  • Sequoia Capital 

Notable Advisors / Board Members:

  • Kirsten Green, Forerunner Ventures
  • Katrina Lake, Founder, Stitch Fix

Glossier was founded with the mission to give everybody a voice through beauty. We aim to change how the world sees beauty, and we do that through the products we make, the experiences we offer, and the values we stand for. We are always striving to spur the industry forward into new directions, while building ourselves into a modern legacy beauty brand beloved by Gen Z and millenials alike. 

Insight shared by Kleona Mack, CMO

What are your key business initiatives for 2024?

Following 2023’s omnichannel transformation of Glossier, which saw us launch into 650 US Sephora stores, replatform our website, open new Glossier free standing stores, and launch global ecommerce, we’re focused on capitalizing on our opportunities. We accelerated our product launch cadence to every four to six weeks—customers can expect to see a great deal more from us in fragrance and expanding our superhero product franchises. We’re building the You fragrance into a modern fragrance icon, with one bottle of Glossier You selling every 40 seconds. 

What are you most proud of having accomplished? 

I’ve been with Glossier for almost three years, and I’m most proud of the incredible agility and speed at which our team has transformed Glossier over the past 18 months. Our goal is to bring more Glossier to more people. We launched into 650 Sephora stores in less than a year, opened a flagship in Soho in nine months, and increased product newness from every three to four months to every four to six weeks while holding on the to fanfare that normally accompanies a Glossier launch (Deodorant had a 20,000-person waitlist). Our Sephora launch has been record-breaking, and one that even Sephora has gone on record comparing it to the Rare Beauty and Fenty Beauty launches—two brands with major celebrities at the helm. Glossier is bigger than it’s ever been, and that is a huge testament to the power of our team. 

What has been the biggest surprise?

What we’re most proud of is that Glossier’s customers don’t only come to us for makeup or fragrance; we are a multicategory brand whose fans are just as proud to wear a sweatshirt as they are to use a Cloud Paint Blush. For example, our merch sales grew 33% year over year. What other beauty brand do you know that has customers who wear their sweatshirts? 

What fuels your competitive advantage?

Our experiences and our products are what bring people back to Glossier. Products inspired by our community and developed with intentionality combined with creating Glossier stores that are fun to spend time in and reflect the community and city they are located in. It’s what makes our stores destinations. It’s why we have lines waiting to get into the Brooklyn store when we have a store in Soho too. We strive to meet our community where they are—whether that is online, at stores, and discovering our brand at Sephora. Gen Z and millennials tend to value experiences over possessions, and so we give them something to tell their friends about each time they visit our store. 

Please share your insight on the future of the beauty industry.

We transformed the beauty industry 10 years ago, and we continue to do so today with our values, unique leadership structure, and social impact. We believe there is room at the table for everyone, and so we’re excited to see the success of indie brands, especially the ones who have been through our Grant Program for Black-Owned Beauty Businesses.

We implemented the Grant Program in 2020 in order to deliver on our ethos of "Changing how the world sees beauty," through changing the beauty industry itself. We’ve given over $1.4 million to date towards this, and will be granting another $400,000 in 2024 to US and UK founders. When many are pulling back on their efforts, we are continuing our commitment here and essentially funding and mentoring our competitors.   

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

A mentor once told me "Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it's the courage to continue that counts," and that’s stuck with me for a long time. 

What’s the best mistake you’ve ever made?

This isn’t a mistake but more so something I want to do more of: directly engaging with Glossier’s community members globally. Glossier has an incredibly active community, and we’re so lucky and grateful that they are so invested in our brand and anything we’re up to. The Glossier Subreddit has 50,000 members, and it’s wholly independent of Glossier. What other brand has that? Our fans also inspire us; one of our fans posted a charm they had attached to their favorite Balm Dotcom, and it inspired a series of in-store events in which we offered charms for customer’s Balm Dotcoms. We love seeing this feedback loop come to life in such positive ways. 

Paying it forward, what advice would you give someone contemplating launching a beauty brand?

Make sure you have a strong POV and stick to it, and don’t let anyone dilute your message. For example, I really admire Young King Hair Care—they’re a Glossier Grantee that I was advising in our previous cohort. The founders, Cora and Stefan, are an incredible husband and wife duo who created a haircare brand for young Black and Brown boys to see themselves as the kings they truly are. Their amazing products are sold across the country, and the amount of grit this duo has is truly remarkable. 

If you could change one thing in the beauty industry what would it be?

The industry had made small gains at the executive and board level. Beauty is an industry that has traditionally been focused on women, but the majority of beauty companies are run by men. There is still work to be done in the beauty world. 

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