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Julep CEO Jane Park
Julep CEO Jane Park

Julep, the heavily-funded Seattle cosmetics startup led by Jane Park, laid off eight percent of its staff or 17 employees earlier this month, GeekWire has learned.

Julep products
Julep products

“This decision did not come easily, and I’m tremendously grateful for the amazing contributions of these individuals,” Park told GeekWire in an emailed statement. “They are part of the Julep family and we are sad not to have them with us going forward. As part of this process, we are working closely with a number of great Seattle companies to help with placement and new job opportunities for them.”

Park added that the layoffs represent “one of the hardest parts of leading a growing company.”

“We made this difficult decision to align with Julep’s greatest long-term opportunities and to best position the company for success and category leadership,” said Park, a former Starbucks executive.

She declined to comment specifically on the company’s business performance.

Julep raised $30 million in venture funding in an oversubscribed round last year. Backers include Azure Capital, Madrona Venture Group, Altimeter Capital, Maveron and Andreessen Horowitz. Total funding in the company — which sells cosmetics products over the Internet, in retail stores and through TV infomercials — stood at $56 million at the time of that venture round. It also employed more than 200 employees at the time of the financing.

“We have pretty ambitious plans,” Park said at the time of last year’s funding. “We are both expanding our innovation in the online shopping experience, as well as the physical products that we’re launching.”

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