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Billionaire Ranjan Pai to invest in beauty company Purplle

Billionaire Ranjan Pai to invest in beauty company Purplle

Billionaire investor Ranjan Pai is reportedly considering an investment in Purplle, an online retailer specializing in beauty and personal care products. This investment would involve acquiring shares in the company from JSW Ventures, with a potential transaction size ranging between Rs 60 to 70 crore, according to sources familiar with the matter, as reported by Moneycontrol.

Notably, this would mark the second instance of JSW Ventures divesting its shares in Purplle within a relatively short span of five months. In May, JSW Ventures had sold a partial stake in Purplle to the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA), yielding an impressive 18X return on its initial investment.

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As of July, JSW Ventures held a 2.8 percent stake in Purplle, according to data from Tracxn, a private markets data provider. The potential investment by Ranjan Pai underscores the attractiveness of Purplle as an investment opportunity, particularly within the rapidly growing online beauty and personal care retail sector.

Such investments not only signify confidence in Purplle’s business model and growth prospects but also provide capital for the company to further expand and strengthen its position in the highly competitive e-commerce market, catering specifically to beauty and personal care products. It also reflects the broader trend of investors seeking opportunities in the digital retail space, which has witnessed significant growth in recent years, especially in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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JSW Ventures has refrained from providing comments on the reported investment, and both Purplle and Ranjan Pai have not responded to emails seeking details regarding the investment round.

The previous secondary transaction involving JSW Ventures and Purplle was executed at a valuation of $1.1 billion. However, the specific valuation for the current investment round has not been immediately disclosed. This suggests that the deal’s financial details may still be under negotiation or not publicly available at this time.

This potential investment by Ranjan Pai in Purplle is part of a broader pattern of startup investments by Pai, a highly experienced entrepreneur and investor. Notably, he recently made headlines by selling a controlling stake in Manipal Hospitals, a chain of healthcare institutions he co-founded, to Singapore’s Temasek Holdings. This transaction was significant in India’s healthcare sector, representing the largest deal ever completed by a private equity fund in the country’s healthcare industry.

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Additionally, Ranjan Pai is associated with the Manipal Group, a prominent conglomerate of educational institutions and healthcare facilities. His involvement in various sectors, including healthcare, education, and now e-commerce through the potential investment in Purplle, highlights his diverse business interests and his continued commitment to participating in India’s dynamic business landscape.

In recent months, Ranjan Pai has emerged as an active angel investor, participating in various startups across different sectors. His investments include stakes in prominent startups such as edtech company Byju’s, children’s product retailer FirstCry, and jewelry player BlueStone, among others.

Pai’s investment in Purplle involved a payment of Rs 60-70 crore to JSW Ventures, allowing him to become a shareholder in the Mumbai-based company through a secondary market transaction. This transaction signifies his interest and confidence in Purplle’s business model and growth potential within the online beauty and personal care retail industry.

It’s worth noting that in May, Purplle had successfully raised a substantial funding round of $40-$50 million. This round included not only the secondary market transaction with Abu Dhabi Investment Authority (ADIA) but also a smaller primary component from South Korea’s Paramark Ventures, an existing investor in the company. This combination of secondary and primary investments highlights the company’s ability to attract significant capital and the interest of diverse investors, contributing to its ongoing growth and expansion efforts.

Ranjan Pai’s involvement as an investor in Purplle aligns with his broader investment strategy in startups and reflects his interest in diverse sectors of the Indian economy, as seen in his investments in healthcare, education, e-commerce, and other areas.

Purplle has outlined its plans for utilizing the capital it has raised. The company intends to deploy the funds to support a dual-pronged strategy that focuses on expanding its offline presence through the opening of more physical stores while simultaneously strengthening its online presence.

This strategic decision reflects the broader trend of online startups embracing an omnichannel approach. By integrating offline stores into their business models, companies like Purplle aim to achieve several objectives. These include diversifying revenue streams, reducing customer acquisition costs (CACs), and sustaining growth. The growth trajectory of many online startups experienced a surge during the COVID-19 pandemic but has somewhat slowed in recent times. The omnichannel approach allows them to tap into a wider customer base and provide a seamless shopping experience across both physical and digital channels.

Purplle, founded by Manish Taneja and Rahul Dash in 2012, operates a beauty and personal care e-commerce platform. It competes with well-known players in the industry, including BSE-listed Nykaa, Myntra (owned by Walmart), Flipkart, and others.

To remain competitive and take on these industry giants, Purplle has successfully raised significant funding, totaling around $450 million. Investors include Premji Invest, Blume Ventures, Kedaara Capital, Goldman Sachs, JSW Ventures, and several others. This funding has been instrumental in supporting Purplle’s expansion efforts and has contributed to the company’s valuation of $1.1 billion.

Purplle’s strategy to expand both offline and online channels aligns with its growth ambitions and its vision to establish a strong presence in the highly competitive beauty and personal care e-commerce sector in India.



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