NOTE: GrowthBeat -- VentureBeat's provocative new marketing-tech event -- is a week away! We've gathered the best and brightest to explore the data, apps, and science of successful marketing. Get the full scoop here, and grab your tickets while they last.
Andreessen Horowitz-backed Julep believes the beauty industry lacks innovation. The company just raised $30 million to change that — although it’s claimed “tech startup DNA” may just be a marketing vehicle.
Like a beating drum, Julep pitches its vision of being a technology-first beauty brand — it has for quite a while now. Center to this innovation is Julep’s crowd-sourcing of product ideas.
So far, the only result we’ve seen of such crowd-sourcing is an ergonomically-designed nail polish handle [below], made in partnership with IDEO.
Otherwise, Julep — a seven-year-old company — fits in better with wide a range of near-tech lifestyle brands, including Warby Paker and Bauble Bar. Currently, the company is first and foremost an online cosmetics retailer, with a catalog of sleekly designed, in-house products.
Julep tells us its new funds will help it “continue its rapid pace of ecommerce innovation.” The company also reports strong growth: its ecommerce sales supposedly tripled in 2013. All the while, Julep competes with cosmetic subscription services like Birchbox and Ipsy.
While Julep is certainly building a strong image, it’s unclear if the company’s crowdsourced future has legs. To that point, Andreessen Horowitz appears most interested in seeing Julep rival traditional beauty brands: “The global brands of tomorrow will be built online,” says partner Jeff Jordan, “and we’re thrilled to back a trailblazing company that’s bringing innovation to the enormous beauty market.”
We're studying digital marketing compensation: how much companies pay CMOs, CDOs, VPs of marketing, and more
, with ChiefDigitalOfficer. Help us out by filling out the survey
, and we'll share the results with you.