Julep CEO Jane Park

It usually doesn’t happen this way. But Julep, the fast-growing Seattle cosmetics upstart, has gotten bigger as its metrics have improved.

That’s a rare trait, and something that investors love to see. And it’s one of the reasons that CEO Jane Park, a former Starbucks exec, has successfully pulled in another $5 million in venture capital financing from Andreessen Horowitz, Maveron and other existing investors. That brings total funding in the company’s series B round to $15.3 million, and total funding to just over $25 million.

“Momentum is a hard thing to manufacture, and if you have it we feel you should go for it,” said Park, who has noted that her mission is to develop an “enduring beauty brand” that taps into the power of e-commerce.

Now, with the new funds, you can add mobile into the mix. Park said that the new cash will be used to supercharge the company’s mobile efforts, something that had been on the backburner. (Perhaps one of the reasons why Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff recently joined the board).

dynamicPark said that she’s “super excited” about their moves into mobile. “I think there’s a huge opportunity,” she said.

The company is also seeing good results from expanding beyond its core nail polish business, launching in recent weeks a line of skin care products known as DD cream. (For the uneducated out there, including yours truly, that stands for dynamic do-all makeup).

The cream not only includes sunscreen, but also anti-aging and skin moisturizing attributes.

Upon launch, Park said they sold out almost immediately.

The success of that product, coupled with the other growth metrics as well as last month’s recent CEW Indie Beauty Award, led Park to and the investors to decide that now was the best time to double down on the business.

“As we scale, the metrics are getting better,” said Park. She declined to go into detail about actual revenues, but noted that June’s online revenues will be double that of January.

As we’ve noted in the past, Julep is an unusual startup since it is part brick-and-mortar retailer; part cosmetics developer; and part e-commerce company.

It employs 172 people, and with the new funds it plans to ramp up hiring in order to take advantage of new opportunities.

Previous investors in Julep have included Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, Lady Gaga’s Manager Troy Carter, Version One Ventures and a venture firm funded in part by actors Will and Jada Pinkett Smith.

Editor’s note: Julep CEO Jane Park will be one of the featured speakers at the GeekWire Summit, taking place on September 12th in Seattle. More details on the Summit here

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  • svetla

    It is very interesting article

  • Svetlana Fatkina

    Cosmetics is very interesting

  • Juliann

    I think you are missing a word in this sentence (“not includes”): “The cream not includes sunscreen, but also anti-aging and skin moisturizing attributes.”

    • johnhcook

      Thanks. Fixing that now!

  • Derek Johnson

    Congrats Jane and team, great job!

  • Kellan

    I heard she was not a nice person.

  • Jesse

    Didn’t Julep just get 10 million in funding in February? They already are getting more? That is a big red flag in my book. Jane at a geek conference? Shouldn’t that be someone who is technical. Very interesting indeed.

    • johnhcook

      Yes, they did just raise $10M, and as I pointed out in the story, this new $5M in cash is coming in to support the hyper growth that the company is experiencing. I asked about whether they had burned through the $10M already. They have not.

      In terms of having Jane at the GeekWire Summit, one of our topic areas will be the future of shopping, and we can think of no one better to help lead and participate in that discussion.

      We’ve also recently added to that topic area Dr. Nadia Shouraboura, the former VP and CEO of Hointer. Nadia has a PhD in mathematics from Princeton and previously helped develop the algorithms and software that helps Amazon’s fulfillment tick.

      We’ve also added Michael Smith, the former president of and ex-CEO of Lands End. Smith is a board member at REI, and is currently doing some interesting things in the areas of home delivery as CEO of Full Circle Farms.

      Part of what makes an interesting panel discussion is getting people with an array of experiences talking about a topic. With Jane, Nadia and Michael (and more to come), I am excited about this one.

      I hope you’ll join us!

      • jesse

        Still a red flag to me if they are already looking for funding. It just doesn’t look right from a business perspective. To me having to get 5 millions dollars more means they are not profitable and are burning through their money. If they are growing and making more money, they should not be burning through millions of dollars that quick. Getting 5 millions dollar sound like they are about to run out of money soon. Not a good sign for sure.

  • kate

    A success DD launch or a complete failure? When reading the social media responses to the DD creme product, it looks like a complete disaster.

  • Sami R.

    Great potential company.

  • Leo Lam

    Hi John…just noticed this: “…and pnd part e-commerce company.” third to last paragraph. :)

    • Leo Lam

      And very interesting article. Good to see that a company with brick and mortar front can also do so well with the investors.

    • johnhcook

      thanks. just fixed.

  • TheArtistFormerlyKnownAsYoya

    Beware – there are a lot of “technical difficulties” surrounding Julep which seem oddly to always benefit Julep financially at the cost of their “Mavens” or bloggers. I had an issue with them and after doing some research found that it is not uncommon. Customer service was completely unresponsive – they literally didn’t respond to my first attempts at contact, and then they were completely unconcerned with my issue and never apologized for it. A lot of financial mishaps benefiting Julep which sound to me like potential grounds for a class action.

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