CEO Sharon Price John says Build-A-Bear’s old e-commerce system is a big reason for disappointing online sales in December.
On the heels of announcing its first physical location, the retailer, which sends subscribers a selection of sample-sized personal care products each month, raises funding for marketing, mobile and team development.
Birchbox Inc., an online retailer that sells personal care products by subscription, has raised $60 million in a Series B funding round. Viking Global Investors led the funding round, which also included existing investors First Round Capital, Accel Partners, Aspect Partners, Glynn Capital, Comcast Ventures, Sam Lessin, Consigliere Brand Capital, Slow Ventures, Red Swan Ventures and TriplePoint Venture Growth BDC Corp.
Birchbox launched in 2010 with a monthly subscription service for women’s cosmetics and personal care items. The company started a men’s subscription service, Birchbox Man, in 2012 and expanded to Europe that same year. Boxes of sample-size products from more than 800 brands are delivered to customers on a monthly basis. Anyone can purchase regular-sized products from Birchbox.com.
“We are constantly working to provide our customers and brand partners with the best possible experience and insights,” says Katia Beauchamp, co-founder and co-CEO of Birchbox. “With Birchbox, we are growing the existing beauty market by inspiring new customers to shop. We’ve learned where to invest for a leading industry position, and this raise will allow us to further grow our footprint and position in the beauty industry.”
Birchbox says it will use the funding to boost investment in such areas as marketing, its mobile app and Birchbox Man. The company announced last month plans for its first physical store, which is set to open in May or June in New York City.
Birchbox, No. 720 in Internet Retailer’s 2013 Second 500 guide, reached 800,000 total subscriptions for its women’s boxes last year. Numbers for the men’s service have not been released. The retailer says 30% of its sales come from purchases of the more than 6,500 regular-sized products it offers on its e-commerce site.