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).
Park 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.