The big exits from Jet.com (to Walmart) and from Dollar Shave Club (to Unilever) made headlines last year. What, surprisingly, did not make many headlines was the biggest exit of the online beauty market to date. Beauty group Coty is buying 60 percent of Younique for $600 million, valuing the cosmetics startup at $1 billion.
From the press release by Coty:
Coty Inc. (NYSE: COTY) announced today that it has entered into a partnership with the Founders of Younique, a leading online peer-to-peer social selling platform in beauty. Under the proposed agreement, Coty intends to acquire 60% of Younique while the Founders will own the remaining 40%. Younique’s Founder and current CEO, Derek Maxfield, and Chief Visionary Officer, Melanie Huscroft, will continue to lead the business in the new partnership. […]
Coty will acquire a 60% stake of Younique for approximately $600 million in cash which will be funded through a combination of cash on hand and available debt facilities with marginal impact on Coty’s leverage ratio. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and is expected to close during Coty’s 2017 fiscal third quarter.
Younique grew with online shopping parties in five years to $400 million:
Some insights can be found in Coty’s documents (PDF):
Younique is utilizing 200.000 “presenters” to host the parties and has a little bit over 4 million customers.
For some perspective on what mobile commerce can look like it is eye-opening that 76% of Younique’s traffic comes from mobile: