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MyGlamm might be the biggest beauty company you’ve never heard of (if you don’t shop in India). The company was founded in 2017 as a direct-to-consumer (DTC) brand, such that it eschewed selling its products on Amazon or other third-party platforms, in preference for sales through its own website.

“We believed that to own the customer, the transaction needs to happen on our own platform,” MyGlamm founder Darpan Sanghvi told Forbes India. But the challenge that MyGlamm faced was getting consumers to actually go to its website. By the end of 2019, Sanghvi said, they were spending some half a million dollars to acquire 30,000 customers per month.

Sanghvi began solving this problem by acquiring Popxo, a digital content platform for millennial women, and Plixxo, an influencer marketing platform, with the plan of building a content-to-commerce conglomerate. Within six months, monthly active users on the website had doubled from 30,000 to 60,000. A year later, traffic was up to 350,000 users per month. MyGlamm then acquired the parenting platform and community BabyChakra, and its community of 20 million mothers, along with a digital media platform aimed at men called ScoopWhoop; an entertainment new-media network called MissMalini Entertainment; and a majority stake in Organic Harvest, a skin care and hair care brand.

As of last year, Sanghvi said the community had grown to 1.5 million influencers and 4.5 billion monthly online impressions. And they’re not stopping there: In November, the company announced it would be partnering with the uber-popular reality TV show Bigg Boss for its 16th season.

This business model has, at least by some metrics, proved a success. In November 2021, Glamm announced a $150 million Series D funding round. Shortly before, the company had secured a Series C funding of $71.3 million, including investments from Amazon. The company was valued at $1.2 billion, making it a “unicorn”—a privately held startup valued at over $1 billion.

Recently, news has come out that Glamm is operating at a loss, largely due to expenses associated with its constant acquisition habits. Yet reportedly, such concerns have not prompted any changes in Glamm’s strategy—in fact, the company plans to make even more acquisitions still.

Discussion Questions:

  1. Could this business model work for other beauty companies, or companies in other industries?
  2. Would you invest in Glamm?
  3. What are other efficient and effective ways to bring customers to a startup’s website, outside of acquiring popular content platforms?

Sources: Jeena Sharma, “How India’s MyGlamm Found DTC Success,” Retail Brew, March 25, 2022; Sukhleen Aneja, “With the Bigg Boss Pact, MyGlamm Wants to Democratise Beauty,” 40Gully, November 8, 2022; Manish Singh, “Amazon-Backed Indian D2C Beauty Brand MyGlamm Raises $71 Million,” TechCrunch, July 26, 2021; Kelly Kovack, “MyGlamm Earmarks $100 Million to Acquire Six Beauty Brands,” Beauty Matter, October 6, 2021; Naini Thaker, “How the Good Glamm Group Is Building a Content-to-Commerce Behemoth,” Forbes India, July 14, 2022; Malvika Maloo, “Good Glamm Group’s Losses Grow Due to Rising Acquisition Costs,” VCCircle, November 11, 2022; Emma Sandler, “Indian Beauty Conglomerate Good Glamm Group Enters Unicorn Club with $1.2 Valuation,” Glossy, November 10, 2021 

Photo from iStock.com/Beo88