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Glossier Raises $52 Million In Series C Funding

The three-year-old millennial beauty phenomenon is continuing its meteoric rise.
Photo: @glossier/Instagram

Photo: @glossier/Instagram

Glossier's rapid growth is about to become even more dramatic.

On Thursday, the millennial-beloved beauty company's founder and CEO, Emily Weiss, penned an email with the subject line "Business News (It's Good)," which was blasted to newsletter subscribers just after 10 a.m. And for Glossier, it's very good, indeed: The company has raised a whopping $52 million in Series C funding.

"Our loyal venture capital partners have chosen to invest an additional $52 million dollars in our three-year-old company," Weiss wrote in the announcement. "Why? Put simply: they deeply believe in us, because we deeply believe in you."

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Glossier first began as a product-based spinoff of beauty site Into the Gloss with an initial investment of $2 million in venture capital funding, led by Forerunner and Lerer Ventures, in Sep. 2013. Then it raised $8.4 million in additional VC financing from investors just a month after its launch in Nov. 2014; raised $24 million in a Series B round of fundraising in Nov. 2016; and also received a nice boost thanks to $3 million in tax credits from New York Governor Andrew Cuomo. That's quite the trajectory for a three-year-old business.

What will this new tidal wave of financing mean for the company? According to Weiss, Glossier is going the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" route:

"That's what we will use this infusion of capital for: more of the same, really. Just keep building the beauty company of the future: the one that you shape. Keep being inspired. Keep working hard. Keep surprising you (!) with some things you already knew you wanted, and some you didn't. Keep leading with integrity. Keep focusing on quality. Keep hiring humble people, talented experts, who share our values and will bring us all up — because we, at Glossier, no matter how 'big' or well-funded we get, are nothing if not five things: inclusive, fun, thoughtful, clever and innovative."

This statement speaks to an interesting paradox that has begun to emerge for Glossier: It's built a brand around being accessible, relatable and authentic. Fans feel a personal connection to it, as well as a sense of community — and even a direct means of communication — via social media and a highly dedicated customer service team. But the scrappy, underdog startup persona that plays so well for Glossier may be difficult to maintain without seeming disingenuous now that that's raised more than $85 million and is very much a key player in the beauty industry. Weiss is smart to address it preemptively and to assure Glossier's loyal consumer base that change — especially in the form of half a billion dollars — is a good thing. 

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