Julep Beauty raises $30M in funding
SEATTLE — Startup beauty brand Julep Beauty has raised $30 million in additional funding from investors, bringing its total venture funding to $56 million.
"Julep combines tech savvy, a next-generation distribution model and beauty industry know-how in one fast-growing package," stated Mike Kwatinetz, general partner of Azure Capital Partners. "It’s the only beauty brand to truly leverage crowdsourcing and social feedback to create new makeup and skincare products."
New investors Azure Capital, Madrona Venture Group and Altimeter Capital, as well as existing investors Andreessen Horowitz and Maveron, participated in the round. The new investment brings Julep’s total venture funding to $56 million.
The new funding comes at a time of tremendous growth for the company, which saw revenues from e-commerce sales triple in 2013. Julep will use the new funds to continue its pace of e-commerce innovation. Leveraging crowd-sourced product development, Julep quickly brings products to market — 10 times faster than traditional beauty brands, according to the company.
Julep invites customer feedback via online focus groups, brainstorming sessions, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Pinterest, and then integrates this feedback into the development process to launch more than 300 nail polishes, skin care products, color cosmetics, and beauty tools per year.
“Julep has truly figured out how to deeply engage women where they already are — social, mobile and web — and leverage those channels to bring customers into the product innovation process,” stated Julie Sandler, principal at Madrona Venture Group. "You simply don’t see this anywhere else in the beauty category, and Julep’s customers are certainly responding. We are excited to support Jane and her bold vision to build the world’s most vibrant, powerful beauty brand.”
In May, Julep will release the Plié Wand, a first-of-its-kind nail polishing tool created and funded by Julep customers that promises to revolutionize the at-home manicure experience.
“As an early investor, we’ve witnessed first-hand the incredible vision CEO Jane Park has brought to this one-of-a-kind e-commerce company, and we’re thrilled to re-invest in Julep’s future,” added Jason Stoffer, partner at Maveron. “Julep is one of the only consumer companies that really understands the omnichannel model, driving incredible sales growth via a mixed e-commerce, subscription, and retail model.”
"The retail industry is in the midst of huge creative disruption, and e-commerce companies that leverage software and big data to transform the shopping experience are the ones that will survive and thrive," stated Jeff Jordan, partner at Andreessen Horowitz. "The global brands of tomorrow will be built online, and we’re thrilled to back a trailblazing company that’s bringing innovation to the enormous beauty market."
Ahold USA names Hershey executive to newly created position of SVP marketing
CARLISLE, Pa. — Ahold USA on Monday announced that Amy Hahn has been appointed to the newly created position of SVP marketing effective April 28. In this role, Hahn will lead and drive critical initiatives of strategic marketing, market insights and analytics, advertising, promotion, brand development, corporate communications, innovation, digital strategy and execution.
She will also be responsible for developing digital retailing and loyalty plans.
“Amy brings a wealth of retail marketing experience to her new role with Ahold USA and will be utilizing her expertise to drive the voice of the consumer throughout all of our communications and loyalty initiatives,” stated Jan van Dam, EVP marketing, supply chain and e-commerce.
Hahn joins Ahold USA after more than 20 years with the Hershey Company where she established a reputation for driving revenue and profitability through innovation in strategy, product development, merchandising, marketing and category management. She began her career with Hershey in engineering and supply chain, moving into progressively responsible positions in brand management and product merchandising. Hahn also led the revitalization of Hershey’s e-commerce and web business. Most recently, she served as the global VP/general manager for direct retail and licensing where she led a 700-person cross-functional team, expanding Hershey’s presence across North America, Asia and the Middle East.
Hahn holds an M.B.A. and B.S. in mechanical engineering from Pennsylvania State University.
BIO supports Delaware legislation creating pathway for substitution of interchangeable biologics
WASHINGTON — The Biotechnology Industry Organization and the Delaware BioScience Association last week commended the Delaware State Senate for passing legislation designed to create a pathway for the substitution of interchangeable biologic medicines.
The Delaware State Senate passed Senate Substitute 1 for Senate Bill 118.
“Senate Bill 118 enjoys the support of a broad coalition of biologic and biosimilar manufacturers, along with industry, physician and patient groups,” stated Jim Greenwood, BIO’s president and CEO. “This bill includes transparent communication on all biologic medicines dispensed in order to maintain a consistent and complete medical record. This legislation represents a significant step forward, ensures transparency and communication between patients and their treatment teams and is fully consistent with the BIO principles.”
The FDA is currently developing a pathway for the development and approval of safe and effective interchangeable biologic products in the United States.