India: Goldman Sachs acquires Purplle’s angel investor shares at 40x premium

Two early angel investors in online beauty and makeup products retailer Purplle have secured a 40X return on their angel investment over a nine-year period, after both investors offloaded their shareholding to Goldman Sachs in a secondary exit deal, said two people aware of the development.

Angel investors Abhinav Sinha and Anirudha Gopalakrishnan who are former Fidelity Investments executives invested 25 lakhs and 20 lakhs respectively when Purplle was launched in December 2011, said the first person mentioned above requesting anonymity.

Sinha made 10 crore after selling his shares to Goldman Sachs, while Gopalakrishnan secured 8 crore on his secondary exit, the person mentioned above said. Apart from secondary exits to angels, a dozen employees at Purplle redeemed their ESOPs in June for a combined value of 18.5 crore, the person added.

Founded by Rahul Dash and Manish Taneja, Purplle sells makeup products and fashion accessories, as well as wellness products for men and women on its website. Purplle’s existing investors, including Blume Ventures, IvyCap Ventures and JSW Ventures

Confirming the development, the startup’s co-founder Taneja told Mint that the e-commerce portal achieved total sales worth $50 million in gross merchandise value (GMV) in 2019, and that it’s targeting to achieve GMV sales worth $85-100 million by the end of 2020.

Purplle currently works with around 800 beauty and personal care brands, sourcing products directly from them. Taneja said that the startup plans to add a total of 1400 brands by end of 2020. The platform also stocks around 40,000 stock keeping units (SKUs), which is also expected to go up to 60,000 to 70,000 by the end of this year, according to Taneja.

He added that during the lockdown, Purplle’s share of sales from metro cities dropped to just 15%, while shares of sales from Tier-2 and Tier-2 towns increased to almost 70% in the last three months.

Besides selling renowned brands, Purplle also has its own private label, along the lines of its rival, Nykaa. It also provides makeup content and guided videos from bloggers. Purplle competes directly and indirectly with Nykaa, which was founded by veteran investment banker Falguni Nayar.

This article was first published on livemint.com.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.