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Glossier started as a beauty blog and is now valued at $1 billion

Emily Weiss was writing reviews of beauty products. Then she realized she could create her own. Now her makeup and skincare line, Glossier, has a cult following, including 765,000 fans on Instagram.

Glossier is now a unicorn.

The New York-based beauty brand is now valued at $1.2 billion following its latest funding round, according to a source familiar with the deal.

Glossier’s $100 million funding round was led by Sequoia Capital. It also included new investors Tiger Global Management and Spark Capital, as well as existing investors such as Forerunner Ventures and Thrive Capital.

Glossier’s annual revenue more than doubled in 2018 and surpassed $100 million, according to the company.

It also announced on Tuesday that Vanessa Wittman would join as its new chief financial officer. Wittman was previously the CFO of Oath and Dropbox.

When asked by the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday about plans for an initial public offering, Glossier CEO and founder Emily Weiss said: “We are certainly in a position where … we are able to do that,” but declined to provide any other specifics.

In 2010, Weiss started a popular blog called “Into the Gloss” with beauty tips, trends and tutorials. She used it to launch beauty and skincare brand Glossier four years later, which offers simple and affordable products.

Glossier has since attracted a cult-like following with nearly 2 million followers on Instagram. Weiss has been credited with being especially effective at using social media to reach customers.

In 2017, Weiss told CNN she realized she could use social media to talk to customers directly and create something that suited their needs.

“Women are in the driver’s seat,” she said. “They are in charge of their routines, and they can find all the information they need from their friends or from other women in the world and online.”

Glossier’s two brick-and-mortar stores are full of Instagram-friendly decor throughout the space, which encourage visitors to take photos and share them on social media.

“It’s a really smart way to get your consumers to be your advertisers and generate word of mouth recommendations, which is still such a powerful part of getting someone to buy your products,” said Jane Fisher, vice president of specialty retail and activewear at research firm Gartner L2.

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