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The scene in a Glossier Toronto Popup Shop. After raising its latest round of venture capital, Emily Weiss’s makeup business is now a woman-led unicorn. (Credit: Matt Wiebe on Creative Commons)
The scene in a Glossier Toronto Popup Shop. After raising its latest round of venture capital, Emily Weiss’s makeup business is now a woman-led unicorn. (Credit: Matt Wiebe on Creative Commons)

Another woman-founded company has just been added to the list of unicorn companies — privately owned companies that are valued to be over $1 billion.

Glossier, the well-known makeup brand that sells most of its products exclusively online, raised $100 million in its series D funding round led by venture capital firm Sequoia Capital, according to Reuters.

The company began in 2010 as a lifestyle blog managed by Emily Weiss. In 2014, Weiss launched her makeup line after raising $2 million in seed money with the help of investor Kristen Green. Today, the company has over 200 employees and nearly 2 million Instagram followers.

[Related: How an Accidental Entrepreneur Created a $30 Million Online Business]

The company grew quickly by targeting social-media-savvy millennials and reaching them through aesthetically pleasing advertisements. The company popularized the phrase “millennial pink” to describe its packaging and Instagram theme. In November 2018, Glossier opened its first permanent location in New York, where the “millennial pink” aesthetic lives on.

Glossier has also grown in popularity due to the help of celebrities. Chrissy Teigen, Miranda Kerr and even Beyonce have all been seen sporting the iconic natural “no-makeup” look that the brand is well known for.

Beauty is clearly big business. Other new cosmetic companies — Kylie Cosmetics, Huda Beauty and Pat McGrath — are reportedly close to achieving $1 billion status. All these companies were founded by women and have women in leadership positions.

There are also a number of beauty companies that aren’t nearly unicorns, but successful in their own right.

Take, for example, Shea Radiance, which sells all-natural skin and hair care products. Founder Funlayo Alabi makes her products using shea butter sourced from women farmers in western Africa. We recently profiled Alabi’s startup tale, with its own dramatic ups and downs, here.

At The Story Exchange, we often write about the importance of female role models — so it’s perhaps no surprise that one of the few public companies ever founded by a woman is a cosmetics company. That would be Estee Lauder, founded by Lauder in 1946. It’s now worth $12 billion.

[Related: Inside Gisele Bundchen’s Billion-Dollar Empire]

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